73 experienced volunteer planters from Auckland, Dargaville, Kaitaia and across the Bay of Islands planted the final 1650 native plants on Waewaetorea Island in the eastern Bay of Islands on 23 June 2011.
Rod Brown (volunteer Planting
Co-ordinator) and Malcolm Thexton
(Kerikeri Shadehouse Volunteers) (right)
on Waewaetorea Island
“This planting session was a 'world record' for Waewaetorea,” says Rod Brown, volunteer Planting Co-ordinator. “1550 of the plants were in the ground by lunch time bringing the total number of plants planted over the last eight years to about 12,000.
We can now walk away knowing that this part of the island is well on its way to being restored.
Follow-up spraying to control kikuyu will be needed to stop this invasive weed overwhelming the plants.
Restoration planting like this is an essential part of Project Island Song – keeping rats away from the pest-free islands, planting trees and bringing back the birds.”
David Mules (DOC Bay of Islands Community Relations Manager) says, “A big thank you must go not only to the many members of the public who volunteered their time but also to Fullers Intercity who provided boat transport as a community service for the 73 planters and the crew who donated their time. Without them this very successful planting day could not have happened.”
Volunteers spanned the age range. Twelve year-old Trae Harrison, a Year 8 student from Kerikeri High School thought planting was ‘pretty cool’. “I reckon my class should come out next year to help.” Seventy-eight year-old Margaret Topzand from Auckland also enjoyed her time out planting. “This is only the second time I have planted; the last time was in the 1970s on Tiritiri Matangi Island. My son put me down for this trip, as I just love getting my hands dirty. Project Island Song is a wonderful venture; it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!”