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Expanding forest at the heart of Wellington

Media release

Wednesday 5 June

Celebrating Arbor Day by expanding forest at the heart of Wellington

Wellington is about to embark on its largest community-led tree-planting programme with a $490,000 boost from the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme.

Volunteers will plant at least 45,000 natives in the Mt Victoria Town Belt over three years, courtesy of the Matariki Tu Rākau initiative, which funds plantings to recognise the men and women who have served in the New Zealand Defence Force.

It will recreate a native forest in the heart of the city. Community planting will start on 15 June.

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) is managing the project in partnership with Rotary Club of Wellington (RCW) and Wellington City Council (WCC).

“Funding from the One Billion Trees Programme will significantly increase the work that volunteers are doing to restore nature in Wellington,” says CVNZ Regional Manager Kellie Benner.

“We want to inspire people to connect with nature. We are excited to be creating opportunities for people to plant trees to remember our fallen.”

Rotary Club of Wellington’s President Marion Cowden says that when combined with other Rotary Club planting initiatives in Wellington, this massive effort will see 100,000 trees planted across Wellington.

“Tree planting has long been part of our club culture, and now it will become an enduring way to celebrate the centenary of our club and Rotary in New Zealand.”

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says Wellington City Council is proud to support partners CVNZ and RCW, which are working hard to restore nature in the city.

“It's fantastic the Government is investing locally to support the massive effort that our community is making to restore our Eco-city.

“Arbor Day is a fantastic time to reflect on how the city is changing and celebrate nature. I encourage you to get out and plant some trees this winter.”

The One Billion Trees Programme - Matariki Tu Rākau initiative is an important part of encouraging communities to plant trees as living memorials says Head of Te Uru Rākau - Forestry New Zealand’s Julie Collins.

“We are aiming to encourage communities throughout the country to plant 350,000 trees, and it’s great to see Wellingtonians respond so positively to this national initiative.”

ENDS

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