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Sumner Environment Group nominated for Weedbuster Award

30 June, 2014


Sumner Environment Group nominated for Weedbuster Award

The Sumner Environment Group has been nominated for this year’s Canterbury Weedbuster Awards for its work in removing large areas of invasive sand dune weeds and replacing them with native plants.

The Weedbuster 2014 Canterbury Awards are supported by Environment Canterbury, the Department of Conservation and Canterbury territorial authorities.

The Sumner community group and the Christchurch City Council parks and reserves team are working together to restore the Sumner and Taylors Mistake dune systems to protect the coastal environment.

Christchurch City Council Park Ranger Rodney Chambers says the Sumner Environment Group has been an independent and self-motivated group. “For the past five years they have organised working bees and planting days to remove invasive species from the dunes including maram grass, lupin, saltbush (also known as boneseed) and exotic pasture grass species,” he said.

After the volunteer team has removed weed species they re-plant the area with native species endemic to the coastal regions and ecosystems. By replanting, dunes are able to rebuild naturally and restore the coastal ecosystem, this reducing the area’s susceptibility to invasive species.

“This is an ongoing project and would not be successful without the help from all our awesome volunteers who regularly give up their time to look after our beautiful beaches,” says Rodney Chambers.

According to Weedbuster Award coordinators Alan McDonald (Department of Conservation) and Gemma Livingstone (Environment Canterbury): “It’s nice to have the opportunity through Weedbusters to give recognition and thanks to volunteers for their contribution towards protecting New Zealand’s native biodiversity through weed control.” Weedbuster Awards will be made later in 2014.

To find out more about the Sumner Environment Group, go to www.sumnercommunity.co.nz. For more on Weedbusters, visitwww.weedbusters.org.nz

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