100,000th native tree planted in mini forest scheme in Canterbury
The vision for a network of native forests across the Canterbury Plains is fast becoming a reality, with 100,000 trees now taking root.
A small crowd joined Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage, Selwyn mayor Sam Broughton, Te Ara Kākāriki Greenway Canterbury Trust members and students of Glentunnel School on Monday to mark the planting of the milestone tōtara.
The Te Ara Kākāriki Trust was established in 2006 to increase biodiversity in Canterbury by creating a corridor of native “green dots” between the Waimakiriri and Rakaia rivers, and linking the mountains to the sea and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.
The trust is working to restore indigenous vegetation on the Canterbury Plains – where less than 1 per cent remains – and raise awareness of the area’s biodiversity.
The first green dot was planted at the Greendale Golf Course in Selwyn.
Further areas have been established at Coalgate and Joyce Reserve in Glentunnel, where five new tōtara were planted on Monday.
Paul Mcoskar became involved in planting Joyce Reserve as part of the Coalgate/Glentunnel Reserve Management Committee.
Since Te Ara Kākāriki started, about 40 per cent more plants had gone in, and the community had noticed an increase in native birds, he said.
“There are far greater numbers – we have kingfishers, bellbirds, waxeyes, although we are still waiting for a tui.’’
Te Ara Kākāriki coordinator Letitia Lum said the day was a great success, with the weather playing its part.
Glentunnel School students had been involved in the project for four years, and planted another 400 trees after the tōtara planting on Monday, she said.