Funding help to hit weeds
Native plants will be given a fighting chance, thanks to one of the grants made through this year’s Western Bay of Plenty District Council Community Matching Fund.
A grant of $6000 has been made to the group behind the continuing restoration of the Kotukutuku Gully in Maketu¯.
“We’ve got quite a major weed problem there, and have had for our whole existence,” says coordinator Lauri Russell.
“We are trying to bring it under control and we are slowly getting there, but this will be a huge boost for us.”
The money means the group will be able to employ a contractor to “to get really stuck into the weeds”.
“They know what they are doing and can apply the best methods to the situation and have all the licences and everything that we as volunteers don’t necessarily have.”
Lauri says she hopes once the work has been done, volunteers will be able to keep on top of the regrowth.
“Weed control of any sort if always a major issue for any restoration block, but particularly when you are dealing with pest weeks like blue morning glory, ginger and tradescantia.”
What was an overgrown, junk-filled gully in Maketu¯ has been transformed at the hands of the volunteers into a walkway that takes pride of place within the village.
The Kotukutuku Gully opened in 2010 after a three-year restoration by local residents, led by the late Trevor Hughes and with the blessing of landowners Te Arawa Lakes Trust.
Te Whakakaha Conservation Trust received $10,000 from the community matching fund. The trust looks after Otawa Sanctuary, home of the rare Otawa Hochstetter’s frog.
Treasurer Barry Galpin says the trust is involved in ongoing restoration of the area.
“There’s a lot of wilding pine trees in there that we have to poison and a major problem with a culvert which is going to have to be unlocked and repaired and its quite a difficult one.
He says the money from the matching fund will be a great help to the trust’s work.
DWARFED by weeds — Jim and Lauri Russell of the Kotukutuku Gully project in Maketu¯.