Protesting waterways through planting

helpers at last year’s The Uretara Estuary Managers group planting day at the Gordon property in Katikati.

Those with green fingers and a love of the outdoors are being asked to don their gloves today for an Arbour Day tree-planting session at Katikati.

The Uretara Estuary Managers group invites the public to help them plant 1200 native trees in pre-drilled holes at Brian and Beverley Gordon’s wetland on Henry Rd.

The project is one of many led by the UEM group to assist and encourage the protection of waterways throughout four local stream catchments to develop a healthy stream habitat link from the mountains to the estuary.

“This healthy link can provide habitat for native fish such as whitebait and a corridor throughout the area for birds and insects,” says UEM chairman Lawrie Donald.

He says this particular wetland was fenced off from grazing animals by Bay of Plenty Regional Councilthrough the Catchment Protection Programme run by the council’s land management team and in conjunction with the Gordons.

“But there was never any planting done in these areas – they were just left.”

The UEM group has been working with the family for the past six years to restore the area to wetland and protect the habitat for species such as whitebait.

“So what we’re doing is we’ve gone through and taken the weeds out of this area and we are going to plant the area in native vegetation plants that we have got from a nursery.”

“We’ve done a lot of planting in the Gordon property, we’ve done stream retirement, riparian margins, and there’s a couple of other wetlands to work on in the near future.”

Last year the UEM group held a planting day and put 600 trees in the ground. Today, June 2, they will double the effort and align with New Zealand’s Arbour Day campaign on June 5.

Lawrie says Katikati College students will be helping out, plus 10-12 UEM members “and anybody else is welcome. We will have a homemade afternoon tea too.”

Those keen to participate need to wear sturdy shoes or gumboots, garden gloves and bring warm clothing and a jacket.

For more information, contact Lawrie Donald 021 859 929.

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