Winter is over and it was a great time to be tucked up with a book next to the fire—or to be out there restoring our natural habitat in the Horowhenua/Manawatu area!
DOC teamed up with local councils, iwi, and a variety of conservation groups, to get their hands dirty over the winter months and plant trees. These planting days showed the effectiveness of working in partnership for conservation.
Many people think that conservation work is primarily the role of the DOC, and in years gone past we have worked independently of communities and other organisations in achieving conservation goals.
This has changed over time, and now the focus is on working in partnership.
This year has seen the resumption of planting at the Kahuterawa Bush Remnant, a piece of native bush on New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) land that brings together NZDF, Horizons Regional Council, Massey University, DOC, community groups and locals in a project to restore the site.
In Levin, the annual McDonald’s Planting Day at Kowhai Park celebrated its 20th anniversary. This event brings together Levin McDonald’s, Horowhenua District Council, DOC and a number of local schools.
DOC itself has held three planting days in coastal reserves in the Horowhenua—planting up to 1800 trees at each of the reserves, all with the help of iwi, Forest & Bird, and community volunteers.
The conservation gains from restoring these bush remnants are huge. By planting more trees we encourage more native birds to the area, and birds that travel between remnants have more habitat available to them. The trees provide sources of nectar for bees, help soil health and prevent erosion, and create sheltered nursery environments for the natural seeding of more native plants. The list goes on.
The lowland plains of the Horowhenua and Manawatu were once covered in magnificent forest, now only visible in the remaining small patches of bush that, for various reasons, were protected from land clearance.
The more we work in partnership, as a community, the better chance we have of protecting and adding to these treasures.
Conservation and protecting the unique biodiversity of New Zealand is the responsibility of all New Zealanders.
If you are interested in being part of next year’s planting opportunities, either individually, or with your school or another organisation, please contact me: DOC Partnerships Ranger Nina Mercer on firstname.lastname@example.org.