Re­serve is a thriv­ing ac­tiv­ity


Waitoe­toe Re­serve in west Palmer­ston North is a Manawatu River park with a dif­fer­ence.

There’s wilder­ness, rem­nant na­tive for­est, sea­sonal wet­lands, river ac­cess, open spa­ces, abun­dant birdlife and a wide range of en­vi­ron­ments for fun, re­lax­ation and recre­ation.

With good ac­cess and tracks, the re­serve is used by walk­ers, cy­clists, Palmy Rocks, dog own­ers, nut-for­agers, and flax-weavers, along with com­mu­nity groups in­clud­ing schools and kinder­gartens that go out on chil­dren’s plant­ing and main­te­nance ses­sions.

Waitoe­toe Re­serve is unique in the city be­cause of its un­man­aged wilder­ness ar­eas ad­ja­cent to the river.

In the 1970s, lo­cal res­i­dents who were fore­run­ners of Waitoe­toe Re­serve Com­mu­nity (WRC), started plant­ing trees to ren­o­vate va­cant land and re­ju­ve­nate a pre­cious rem­nant of na­tive for­est known as Bill’s Bush.

It was named af­ter Bill Reg­nault, a res­i­dent of Buick Cres and pas­sion­ate con­ser­va­tion­ist, who be­came the de-facto cus­to­dian of the re­serve.

Reg­nault and oth­ers, in­clud­ing the Manawatu Tree Trust, ex­panded the rem­nant by plant­ing na­tive trees. Now many fine spec­i­mens of kahikatea and to­tara are tes­ti­mony to long hours tend­ing and wa­ter­ing plants to en­sure sur­vival.

A long-term man­age­ment plan for Waitoe­toe Re­serve is in the process of be­ing fi­nalised by the coun­cil in dis­cus­sion with res­i­dents.

The WRC or­gan­ise and sup­port com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion through work­ing bees, ad hoc main­te­nance and small projects that in­clude up­keep of planted and bush ar­eas, and the plant­ing of na­tive plants and nut and fruit for forage trees.

Its pro­mo­tion of na­tive reveg­e­ta­tion and bio­di­ver­sity has re­sulted in a wide range of birdlife in the re­serve.

Work­ing bees are or­gan­ised on the last Sun­day of each month (ex­cept De­cem­ber) - 10am to 12pm. The in­vi­ta­tion is for any­one to join in to plant na­tive trees, shrubs, and fruit and nut trees; re­store na­tive veg­e­ta­tion; re­lease and mulch plants, and re­move weeds. See WRC’s Face­book or ring Jenny 358 2905 or Heather 354 1765.


Ka­trin Jones and Mike Pat­ter­son plant a wal­nut tree dur­ing April’s Earth Day.


Troy Duck­worth and his son Dal­las Duck­worth, 3, plant dur­ing Earth Day in April

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