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Protect the parks from pest plants

Protect the parks from pest plants

22 March 2005

Auckland’s regional parks and natural areas are being strangled by pest plants escaping from private gardens.

More than 700 common garden pests are making their way into parks and reserves and the combined effect is threatening native bush. Many of these pests are harmful not just to the bush but to people.

The Auckland Regional Council is asking people to weed out pests in their backyards and grow native plants instead. They are even supplying free native plants to encourage people to make the change.

“Pest plants are taking over and, in some places, are strangling whole areas of bush,” ARC Parks and Heritage Committee Chair Sandra Coney said.

“By removing common pest plants and replacing them with natives, Aucklanders will start to develop a green corridor across the region. This will preserve our native bush and bring back more birds to the region. It’s all part of our Big Clean Up campaign.”

The ARC native plant giveaway days will be held in seven Auckland areas during April. They will be at Muriwai, Piha, Waiheke, Silverdale, Takapuna, Omana (near Whitford and Maraetai) and Manurewa. ARC staff will be on hand to give free advice on removing pest plants and planting with natives.

Everyone exchanging a pest cutting for a native at these venues goes into a draw to win a Dream Garden worth $3000 supported by The Warehouse, Perroplas One, Stone & Water World, Living Earth, Stevens and the Auckland Botanic Gardens. The garden prize includes a selection of native plants, stone birdbath, irrigation system and a qualified designer to help design the dream garden.

The ARC has information on its website www.arc.govt.nz/biosecurity and a free booklet Plant Me Instead for people wanting to know which pest plants to weed out and what natives to plant in their place. People can also ask an ARC expert to come and check their garden for pest plants and advise on which natives to plant instead by phoning 366 2000.

The native plant exchange days will be held from 8.30am to 12.30pm on:

2 April at Omana Regional Park car park, off the Whitford and Maraetai Road and at

Ostend Market car park, Waiheke Island

9 April at Kings Plant Barn, Silverdale (cnr East Coast Road and State Highway 1) and

Takapuna (11 Poana Road, Glenfield)

16 April The Domain, SeaView Road, Piha and

Muriwai Regional Park, Motutara Road, southern car park.

30 April (9.00am to 12.30 pm) at the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens, Manurewa.


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