Local school children helped to plant another 5,000 native trees in Wellington’s Spicer Forest in June 2016 as part of the national Arbor Day programme.
The 180 children came from four neighbouring schools – Porirua, Hampton Hills and Greenacres Primary Schools and Tawa Intermediate. The planting was part of a multipurpose project jointly organised by the Wellington and Porirua City Councils and the Department of Conservation with support from Trees That Count.
The forest is part of three parcels of land managed by the two councils and DOC. Included in the area are a pine forest, a native botanical park, the Colonial Knob reserve, a section of the Te Araroa national walkway and other walking, running and cycle tracks. The joint vision for the area is a major recreational park which provides opportunities for walking, running, biking and horse-riding and connects with Wellington’s Outer Green Belt.
Apart from the school children and staff from the two councils and DOC, there were helpers from the Mana Cycling Group, Friends of the Tawa Bush Reserve, and Woodridge Planters. Project Crimson Trustee “the Bugman” Ruud Kleinpaste, provided some on-site environmental education for the kids, introducing his famous wetas.
The tree planting contributed not only to the vision of a major recreational park with enhanced native bush for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse-riders, but also to the rehabilitation of Porirua Harbour through soil stabilisation to reduce sediment run-off, and to the national effort to plant more native trees to mitigate climate change.
Wellington City Council is a supporting partner of Trees That Count. The Council has a vision of planting 2 million trees by 2020. Since 1996 they have already planted 1.4 million native trees.