Join mass plant­ing to mark Ar­bor Day

Hamilton News - - Front Page -

The squelch under the boots and the smell of damp soil are syn­ony­mous with wet­lands, the theme for this year’s Ar­bor Day at Wai­whakareke Nat­u­ral Her­itage Park.

The largest mass plant­ing event of the year, Ar­bor Day is a key event for Hamil­ton City Coun­cil’s Parks and Recre­ation Unit and was first held at Wai­whakareke in 2004. The park is a long-term eco­log­i­cal restora­tion project on the city’s out­skirts, near Hamil­ton Zoo.

This year’s theme is “Wet­lands are cool”, with the event on Fri­day, June 1, start­ing at 10am.

Close to 1000 peo­ple have al­ready reg­is­tered for Ar­bor Day 2018, and any­one can join in on the day.

Any­one at­tend­ing Ar­bor Day should bring a spade, sturdy wa­ter­proof shoes or boots, dress for the weather, and bring some wa­ter to drink.

Ger­ard Kelly, the coun­cil’s com­mu­nity plant­ing co-or­di­na­tor, says an es­ti­mated 280,000 in­di­vid­ual plants have been planted over the 14 years of Ar­bor Day, with some spec­i­mens some now reach­ing up to 5 me­tres in height.

“Plan­ning for Ar­bor Day starts at least two years in ad­vance — we need to source the seed from the eco­log­i­cal ar­eas, prop­a­gate the plants, and grow them to a size suit­able for plant­ing,” Mr Kelly says.

The av­er­age planter will put 15 plants into the ground at the event.

“The aim of the ex­er­cise is to plant the trees to last — and that means tak­ing a bit of ex­tra time to get it right,” he says.

“We’ve just pro­duced a new video to show how it’s done — you can check that out on the coun­cil’s Facebook page and Youtube chan­nel.”

Mr Kelly says Ar­bor Day is a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for

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