The Waikanae River just got a little greener and cleaner – thanks to the efforts of 28 members of the Parish of Waikanae, who planted over 350 native trees on Sunday the 25th of June. Parish climate catalyst Pene Burton Bell says that the turnout was good, helped by the fact that their planting efforts were so close to home for parishioners.
The event was not just a stand against climate change though, as the benefits were increased by it being on the banks of the Waikanae River, a “mountains to sea” corridor that is recognised by Department of Conservation and the district and regional councils as being ecologically significant. Planting of native trees here has been undertaken for years, and over time it is having a “transformative” effect on the physical, cultural and social amenity values of the river environment.
Pene says that there are many within the parish who are passionate about climate change. “We wanted also to raise awareness about climate change, and make a small contribution.” The group arrived at noon on Sunday and planned to finish at 2pm, but stayed longer so they could install barriers to protect several hundred pre-existing trees in the area. They were joined by Rev John Flenley, who told the group that the best action any individual can take to combat climate change is to plant a tree.
Pene says the District Council were very helpful, not only in providing the piece of land on which they could plant, but by providing the appropriate native trees for the area as well. In that regard, it was great that the Parish was able to contribute to an ongoing improvement of their environment, alongside many other organisations in their community.