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Volunteers stake their mark on local parks

3 August 2006

Volunteers stake their mark on local parks

Auckland City's open space, creek clean-ups and tree planting programmes gained an extra boost over the past year with the assistance of more than 2300 dedicated volunteers.

An annual report to Auckland City's Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee this week highlights the success of the parks volunteering programme. The increase in numbers of volunteers bodes well for the future.

"Taking part in volunteer programmes such as Auckland City's parks programme can be incredibly rewarding," says chairperson of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee, Councillor Penny Sefuiva. "This work is also hugely beneficial to the city and the environment."

People from across Auckland contributed to tree planting, animal pest control, rubbish clean-ups, mulching, weeding and maintenance of walking tracks in our parks and reserves.

"Participating in a volunteer programmes gives people a sense of ownership for their local reserve or park, builds on the quality of our open space and contributes to a sense of community well-being," says Councillor Sefuiva. " Whatever time you can offer will be valued by your community and contribute to the long-term health of the city."

Successes of this year's programme included:

* more than 4500 volunteer hours, an increase on last year's figures by an estimated 1305 hours. This is largely attributed to a growth in volunteers participating in the animal pest control programme and establishing new park care groups

* volunteers collectively removed 127 possums and 607 rats from six parks, almost double the total caught last year

* the winter tree planting programme resulted in 6243 new native trees and shrubs planted in parks across the city, and

* the creek and coast clean-up programme collected 2.2 tonnes of inorganic rubbish over 190 volunteer hours.

Based on the success of this and past years' programmes a new heritage tree-planting programme will be introduced in the coming year. The aims of the programme are two-fold; to revitalise existing groves and avenues of heritage trees and to educate the public about the importance of the Auckland's natural heritage landscape.

ENDS

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