Date: 5th May 2021
This autumn, hundreds of volunteers planted 5,000 natives at our keystone and community group sites throughout the Whakatipu Basin from Arrowtown to Gibbston, Arthurs Point and more. Every one of these plants was grown by volunteers at our Community Nursery in Kelvin Heights, from eco-sourced seeds. An amazing effort by our nursery manager Barbara, and her wonderful team of volunteers who attend our nursery on Wednesday mornings to grow and nurture these precious plants.
We kicked off our planting season with 1500 natives at our Whitechapel Reserve keystone site in Arrow Junction. Despite the rain and cold, 80 volunteers joined us as we planted and celebrated a fantastic milestone of having planted 50,000 natives since 2015. Our amazing friends at the Hilton Hotel provided a delicious morning tea, including urns of freshly brewed coffee and hot chocolate with marshmallows! Awesome local company No Trace Events turned up the tunes for our BBQ lunch! We also had heaps of spot prizes donated by local businesses and supporters. Huge thanks to these local business!
Ziptrek Ecotours for the Kereru Zip ride
The Remarkables, Coronet Peak & Mt Hutt for the adult day pass
Kiwi Birdlife Park for the family annual pass
Trees that Count for lovely t-shirts & plant snap
Whakatipu Wildlife Trust for caps & water bottles
Bee the Change NZ for Whitechapel honey
Dept of Conservation (DOC) for hut passes
At Bush Creek 600 natives were planted, extending our coverage at this new site along the walking / cycling trail behind the Chinese Village. Lake Hayes South is looking fantastic, with 400 natives planted up to the fence of private land. Everyone was amazed by the growth and high survival rate at this site, with last years plants literally bursting upwards! A big thank you to our volunteer Hans, who works away quietly maintaining this site.
Our final planting day was at our riparian site beside the cycle trail off Slope Hill Road, along the unnamed tributary of Mill Creek. 1000 natives were planted by 60 volunteers (many in gumboots) on what started off as a frosty morning, but turned into a warm, sunny day. The awesome team at Crowne Plaza Queenstown provided a delicious morning tea, and we finished our day with a community BBQ. A special thank you to our volunteers Tom & Helen for their work in maintaining this and other sites, and especially for their efforts in preparing this site for planting.
Our community groups continue to amaze and inspire us with their hard work and dedication. All of our community sites are looking fantastic, and are worth visiting to see how these groups are transforming once weed infested land to diverse native plantings. At Alpine Retreat, the community reports return of native birdsong, where just a few years ago there was only the silence of wilding pines forest. To date 1500 natives have been planted and an active predator trapping program is in place. Morning Star Reserve (KAPOW) planted a further 350 natives this autumn. Gibbston Reserve on Coal Pit Road just completed their second planting of 150 plants into hard ground. However the natives planted last spring are growing vigorously, and the community are doing a fantastic job at maintaining this area. We acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all of our community groups!!
The end of planting season is not time for us to rest on our laurels! Our nursery will be moving to winter volunteer hours of 12.00-3.00pm from 19 May. And we are already planning our spring planting campaign, with dates published on our website and FB.
Finally, we thank every one of our sponsors and donors, large and small. Our impact and success completely relies your ongoing support and generosity. If you would like to make a donation or talk to us about how you can support our work, please feel free to contact us.
Ngā mihi nui.
The WRT Team.