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Conservation Volunteers doing amazing work in Auckland and Wellington

Founded in 2006, Conservation Volunteers New Zealand offers opportunities for volunteers to join projects throughout New Zealand. Two of these projects - Atiu Creek Regional Park and A Forest at the Heart of Wellington - have been supported by Trees That Count and our funders in 2018. Read on to find out about these projects.

Ātiu Creek’s history is in good hands

Ātiu Creek Regional Park on the Kaipara Harbour is Located 90 minutes north of central Auckland. With only 23,000 visitors in 2014, the park remains an under-utilized resource for locals and tourists alike.

Ātiu Creek has a long history of human occupation and is a historically rich place with archaeological sites of several large pā (fortifications), terraces, gardening areas, food storage pits and midden sites are found throughout the park. It was eventually purchased by Swiss citizen Pierre Chatelanat in 1951 who carried out an extensive programme of land clearing, fencing, roading, tree planting and construction to create a model farm.

Recognising the value of Ātiu Creek’s natural and cultural heritage and wishing to ensure public access to the special property, Pierre and Jackie Chatelanat gifted the land to the people of New Zealand in 2006. Ātiu Creek Regional Park was officially opened in 2008 and has been managed since then by Auckland Council (Northern Regional Parks).

The Park itself is a patchwork of rolling pastures, exotic tree plantations, majestic stands of rare and ancient native forest, wetlands and mangrove, and with such a valuable site to maintain, Conservation Volunteers have made the park their full-time flagship project in the North. This planting season, Trees That Count matched the project with 1,000 native trees which were funded by Honda.

A Forest at the Heart of Wellington

A Forest at the Heart of Wellington is a community-led restoration project which will plant 100,000 trees in Central Wellington to celebrate the Rotary Club of Wellington's Centenary which falls in 2021.

Work towards this ambitious target began in 1968 when the then president of Wellington Rotary, Sir Roy McKenzie, initiated the planting of trees on Lambton Quay. Since these initial efforts, the club has planted over 45,000 trees across the city, with recent plantings being focussed on the slopes of Mt Victoria under the umbrella of "A Forest at the Heart of Wellington".

At the centre of the new forest is the Wellington community. All restoration activity is being undertaken by volunteers from local schools, businesses, neighbouring suburbs, and abroad. By lending their assistance to propagate, plant, and maintain thousands of native trees every year, these passionate volunteers are enriching their own lives and improving the environment for all to enjoy.

With a significant lift in annual plantings required to hit 100,000 trees by 2021, Rotary partnered with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand to help push the project along. Together, Conservation Volunteers and Wellington Rotary have now finished construction of a native plant nursery to supply trees for the forest, and set out a comprehensive project plan to ensure that the forest becomes a reality.

In the 2018 planting season, Z Energy funded 2,730 trees here, and Honda 1,000 trees to compliment volunteer-grown nursery trees going in the ground. With not long to go until the project is completed, this is an exciting one to watch!


About the author

Trees That Count aims to create a national movement to plant millions of native trees to mitigate climate change. We're managed by the Project Crimson Trust in partnership with the Tindall Foundation.

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