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Planting to Create Wildest Place in Town

Media Release
3 August 2006


Planting to Create Wildest Place in Town

Up to 5000 native trees, shrubs and grasses will be planted alongside a short stretch of the Puhinui Stream on 10, 11 and 12 August.

Known as the “Wildest Place in Town” project, it is a joint venture between Manukau City Council’s Wai Care Programme, local schools and Nestle New Zealand Limited through its Wiri factory. About 50,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted during the next 10 years.

The plantings along the Puhinui Stream between Kerrs Rd and the Great South Rd, near the Manukau Super Clinic are being held during Conservation Week.

People keen to help restore the stream are encouraged to come to a community planting day on Saturday 12 August between 10am and 12 noon. Local schools will be doing planting on 10 and 11 August.

Manukau City Council Wai Care programme manager James Corbett says the planting is the first stage of a long-term restoration plan for this part of the Puhinui Stream.

“It will eventually link up with areas lower down the stream being planted by the council and volunteer groups.”

The Wai Care programme aims to restore waterways and nearby environments to a healthy state for the benefit of the community. The “Wildest Place in Town” project follows on from last year’s hugely successful “Wild Places in City Spaces” project.

The “Wildest Place in Town” project involves three local schools, Wiri Primary, The Gardens and Manurewa High School. The schools have been propagating the native trees and shrubs and pupils will be involved in planting them.

Mr Corbett says the project gets children actively involved in environmental issues by taking ‘ownership’ of a local area.

“When the Puhinui Stream is restored it will provide a wildlife refuge and a better environment for fish and bird life. It will also create a better environmental connection between the headwaters in Totara Park and the Manukau Harbour.

“This has been made possible through the corporate generosity of Nestle New Zealand which has donated $22,000 to help make this project possible,” says Mr Corbett.

As part of its community environment programme Nestle is paying for fencing and ground preparation as well as helping with the cost of the trees and shrubs.

Mr Corbett says the project is a classic example of corporate support, education and the community working together to benefit the environment.

Parking for the community planting day is in the St David’s Church grounds on Great South Rd then follow the signs to the Wai Care tent. Bring warm clothing, closed footwear and a spade.


ENDS

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