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Local community cleans up its act

Local community cleans up its act

May 19, 2006

Albany residents are being encouraged to work together to help protect and enhance their local stream.

A community planting day is being held at Lucas Creek on Saturday, June 17 as part of Auckland Regional Council’s Big Clean Up campaign.

According to North Shore City Council’s Streamwalk projects planner, Tom Mansell, Lucas Creek is just one of many Auckland waterways that have been put under stress by increasing urbanisation.

“Lucas Creek was once plentiful with freshwater fish and its banks were lined with lush native bush teaming with native birds,” says the environmental scientist.

“But the area has become increasingly developed, and the waterway is under threat from pollutants such as oil, chemicals, heavy metals, sediment, rubbish and paint, all of which enter the stream through the stormwater system.”

Tom Mansell says planting in the surrounding area will breathe new life into the stream, and help protect it from these harmful pollutants.

“Planting next to waterways provides shade and food to encourage native birds; helps filter out pollutants; reduces erosion and damage caused by flooding; prevents the spread of exotic weed species, enhancing biodiversity; and enhances the visual appeal of the environment,” he says.

“We want to create a more natural environment that enhances quality of life so that generations can enjoy our city for years to come.”

The event will involve locals planting 1,200 native riparian plants along the river bank, with a total of 2500 plants planted at the site in total. Eventually North Shore City Council wants to have at least 20 per cent of their nursery grown native plants eco-sourced from within North Shore City.

“By sourcing native plants from the surrounding area you can preserve the distinctiveness of the plants from that region and, because they already grow well in that area, they are more likely to survive,” says Mr Mansell.

He hopes the event will educate and raise community awareness of the link between pollution, the stormwater system, streams and the sea.

“It’s a ground-up initiative that will get people to understand how their actions impact on the environment and what they can do to help.”

The community planting day is being held at the end of Meridian Court in the Oteha Valley on June 17, from 10am. There will be live fish displays, a sausage sizzle and information about local streams and how to protect them. Volunteers need to bring a spade, sturdy footwear and wet weather gear. All volunteers will be given a free native plant to take away.

The Lucas Creek community planting project is an initiative of North Shore City Council, Water Services, working in conjunction with ARC’s Big Clean Up campaign – which promotes simple, everyday actions to help make the region a better place to live, work and play.

ENDS

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