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Celebrating World Rivers Day With A Waimakariri Tree-planting Event

Charity Sustainable Coastlines, in collaboration with Pit Stop NZ, invites Cantabrians keen to volunteer in a tree-planting alongside the Waimakariri River on Sunday, 27 September, in celebration of World Rivers Day.

World Rivers Day is an annual event that aims at highlighting the importance of our rivers. To help raise awareness, Sustainable Coastlines and Pit Stop are hosting a tree-planting event at White’s Crossing, a popular picnic spot. The event will see 2,500 trees being planted with the help of local volunteers, and comes at an opportune time after dropping down to Level 1 lockdown in the area, for Kiwis keen on giving back to nature and getting outdoors.

This is the fourth year running that Sustainable Coastlines has run a planting event at White’s Crossing. Last year, the charity enabled volunteers to plant 17,700 trees alongside the Waimakariri River. The ongoing restoration of the site is supported by Environment Canterbury, Student Volunteer Army, and the Christchurch Southern Motorway project.

“We are delighted to engage with our communities by enabling this collaborative restoration work”, says Chris Ring, Managing Director Pit Stop NZ.

“Working in conjunction with Sustainable Coastlines, to connect with people and get trees in the ground, is an excellent way to minimise the effects of pollution in our waterways”.

Sustainable Coastlines co-founder Camden Howitt adds that planting events not only provide tangible impacts such as reducing erosion and sedimentation, increasing biodiversity, capturing carbon and filtering excess nutrients, but also enable people to see nature, and how to tackle the issues we’re facing, through new eyes.

“Our events connect people with nature, allowing them to work collectively to tackle environmental challenges in their own backyard. Our volunteers continually feedback to us that they’ve felt an increased connection through this shared experience, giving them a sense of belonging and purpose,” says Howitt.

Over 75% of Christchurch City’s drinking water is sourced from the Waimakariri River, so tree-planting has a very real human impact in maintaining the city’s fresh water. Fresh water quality is a common concern; of New Zealanders surveyed recently, 76% said they were extremely or very concerned about the pollution of lakes and rivers. These concerns are not unfounded, with the Ministry for the Environment Report, Our freshwater 2020 painting a picture of declining water quality and habitat for native fish in many of the country's freshwater


Sustainable Coastlines’ tree-planting events form part of the Love Your Water programme, which focuses on freshwater restoration through water-quality education and riparian planting. This upcoming Waimakariri tree-planting event, in unison with World Rivers Day, aims at bringing people together and getting them involved in positive solutions.

Tree-planting event at Waimakariri River:

Where: White’s Crossing, Coutts Island Road

When: 27 September, 9:30am - 2.30pm

Individuals can register or find out more about Waimakariri River planting day at https://sustainablecoastlines.org/event/christchurch-pitstop-planting-day/

We are confident in our processes and protocols to run safe, family friendly tree plantings. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or visit https://sustainablecoastlines.org/covid/ for more information.

If you can't make this event, but still want to support Sustainable Coastlines, please consider becoming a member or making a donation to ensure we continue the critical work of protecting the coastlines and waterways of Aotearoa.

© Scoop Media

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