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Community volunteers celebrate stream restoration

Community volunteers celebrate stream restoration with art post dedication

Volunteers from the Henderson Valley Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Supervised Group Home Henderson; Child, Youth and Family; and The Corrections Department will gather together at 10.30am on Saturday 23rd February at the Opanuku stream in Henderson to commemorate the years they have spent restoring the streamside.

The Opanuku stream has been degraded by pollution from storm-water run-off, deforestation and urban development, but this hard-working group of community volunteers have been restoring it back to health. They have transformed their chosen area of the stream into a flourishing, welcoming place to visit by planting native trees and keeping invasive weeds away.

As many as up to 70 people at any one time aged from 2 to 82 years old regularly gathered together to clear invasive weeds, plant natives, mulch and clear away broken glass and rubbish such as tyres, shopping trolleys and household waste.

For the church it began as part of its International Mormon Helping Hands program which brings together members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and their neighbours to provide a community service. Staff members and young people from the Henderson Supervised Group Home of Child, Youth and Family later supported and contributed to the weeding, planting and mulching of trees.

The Department of Corrections also contributed with maintaining the area and working hard to keep it weed free.

This group is an incredible example of very different members of one community working together to enhance the environment at their own back door. They will celebrate by weeding, clearing rubbish from the Opanuku stream and unveiling an art post they have made themselves.

Begun under Auckland Council-funded Project Twin Streams, over the last 5 years there have been over 300 people between the three organisations that have contributed to the success of this area, including McLaren Park Henderson South Community Initiative (MPHS) who have managed the Opanuku Stream community engagement contract since 2009.

For more information please visit http://projecttwinstreams.com/?page_id=95

About Project Twin Streams
Project Twin Streams is New Zealand’s largest-scale environmental restoration project. It is working to improve water quality in Waitakere streams by revegetating 56 kms of streambanks with native trees and shrubs, and purchasing properties within the flood plain for removal. This stabilises the banks from erosion, creates a cool, shaded environment for ecology to thrive and filters toxins entering the streams.

Through its unique approach, Project Twin Streams engages local residents in the project through partnering with local community organisations to deliver the planting program. Project Twin Streams is a local project with regional benefits. It works with nature and with people to improve the health of our waterways and harbour.

About the Opanuku Stream
The Opanuku Stream flows from high in the Waitakere Ranges down through Henderson Valley, to the tidal waters of Henderson Creek. The Project Twin Streams Opanuku Stream area spans from Candia Road in the upper reaches to Corban Estate in the lower reaches. This encompasses areas of mature bush as well as newly planted sites.

ENDS

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