Dig deep, it’s plant­ing time

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - EVENT

Over the win­ter months, thou­sands of plants will be put into Wai­whakareke Nat­u­ral Her­itage Park - at least 600 ev­ery ses­sion.

The 60-hectare park, lo­cated on the out­skirts of Hamil­ton, is an award­win­ning, in­ter-generational eco­log­i­cal restora­tion project.

Es­tab­lished in 2004, the long-term aim of Wai­whakareke is to re­con­struct the nat­u­ral for­est, wet­land and lake ecosys­tems present in pre-Eu­ro­pean times.

In­ten­sive preda­tor con­trol will al­low vul­ner­a­ble species to flour­ish in an ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment and spill over to other parts of the city.

Through­out sum­mer, vol­un­teers and the Friends of Wai­whakareke, worked hard to keep weeds down.

Friend Cather­ine Smith said de­spite some bad weather con­di­tions, mem­bers of the com­mu­nity still ral­lied to­gether to as­sist in the cause.

And, with the an­nual Ar­bor Day plant­ing ap­proach­ing on June 1, it’s a chance for more vol­un­teers to dig deep.

Ar­bor Day plant­ing at Wai­whakareke has grown sig­nif­i­cantly, with more than 2500 peo­ple at­tend­ing the 2015 event.

It has de­vel­oped into the largest com­mu­nity plant­ing day in the city.

Ths year’s theme is ‘‘Wet­lands are Cool,’’ and will be co­or­di­nated by Hamil­ton City Coun­cil’s Ger­ard Kelly.

For in­for­ma­tion, visit the coun­cil web­site or email tu­i2000inc@gmail.com.

Win­ter ses­sions will be held be­tween 9am and noon on the last Satur­day of the month: May 26, June 30, July 28, Au­gust 25, and Septem­ber 29. Bring a spade, morn­ing tea, and wear sturdy shoes or boots.

Planters tak­ing a break from a ses­sion at Wai­whakareke Nat­u­ral Her­itage Park.

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