Many hands help at Mangapiko planting

Many hands help at Mangapiko planting

Community spirit shown in successful planting day

Quite possibly the foggiest day of the year in the Waikato happened on Thursday, August 29, when the Lower Mangapiko Streamcare group held a community planting day with the aim to plant 4,000 plants along the Mangapiko stream.

The day was coordinated by Nardene Berry from NZ Landcare Trust and Melinda Dresser from Waikato Regional Council. Funding for the native plants was provided by crowd funding through the Million Metres Stream project, and Fonterra Te Awamutu.

Two local schools supported the day, with 22 senior students coming from Pirongia School to plant 591 native plants along the riparian margin of the Brown family farm, and 35 students from Te Awamutu College planting the riparian margins of the Wood property and Reymer Ag Contracting.

The students from Pirongia School were given a demonstration on how to plant, then got stuck in, with half the group planting one end of the site, and the other half at the other end, and they met in the middle. Although there was a drenching rain shower, the sun finally did come out and all the plants were in the ground a couple of hours later.

The students from Te Awamutu College were made up of the Teen Ag students, a Year Nine Science Class and the Environmental student committee and their three teachers. They had a steeper section of the river to plant, and the bulk of the plants. Don Macky, Chairman of the Lower Mangapiko Stream Care Group, bought water and chocolate for the students to thank them for their participation – and while he thought he had bought plenty, the chocolate disappeared very quickly!

“The contribution from the students was greatly appreciated, with the money saved by their efforts meaning that there was more to invest in further plants, thereby helping to achieve the final aim which is the riparian fencing and planting of the stream from Te Awamutu to Pirongia. Who says that the farmers aren’t contributing to water care and the environmental footprint?” Don says.

But it wasn’t just the local schools who supported the group. Four staff from Fonterra Te Awamutu came along to help, four gardeners from Hobbiton Movie Set also made the journey to assist, as well as members of the streamcare group, and a local volunteer, Ken, from Te Awamutu saw the notice in the paper and came along to help as well.

Many hands help at Mangapiko planting

All this support enabled two of the three properties to be completely planted, while the third, which had the largest riparian area to plant, was three quarters of the way done. There were close to 3,000 plants laid out along a large retired riparian area at Reymer Ag Contracting, but family members also came to help plant on the day, and all the adult volunteers were provided lunch by the streamcare group members, Shirley, Penny and Shelly.

The day was a huge success and the streamcare group members would like to thank everyone who came along and planted on the day, helped with laying out the plants, made food for the volunteers or assisted behind the scenes in one way or another. The native plants were a mix of riparian species which will grow to provide shade for the stream, help filter sediment and run-off from the adjoining land and provide habitat for birds and insects and improve native biodiversity.

For more information about the Lower Mangapiko Streamcare group please contact Don Macky at:
[email protected] or phone 07 871 6668.

Many hands help at Mangapiko planting

Breaking down the statistics - what this help really meant?

A rough calculation by NZ Landcare Trust regional coordinator Nardene Berry shows how one planting day like this actually has a huge impact on the work that we do. How? Let us show you...

Total volunteer contribution over two days (the planting day and the laying out of plants day) was valued at $17,217.50. These figures are based on in-kind hours, with a reduced rate recorded for the students.

Over just two days or work, the volunteer hours were calculated at 288, involving 96 people.

The volunteers came from Pirongia School, Te Awamutu College, Fonterra Te Awamutu, Hobbiton Movie Set, Lower Managpiko Streamcare group members. Also involved were Waikato Regional Council staff and myself.