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Gisborne family on a mission to plant 10,000 natives

Located on the east cape of the North Island, the Lee family own a beautiful 9 hectare lifestyle block in Gisborne. With three children under 11, the Lees are passionate about passing on their love for the environment to the next generation. Currently in the process of transforming their property from farmland into a gorgeous native forest while still retaining some land as paddocks, they are hoping to educate their children about the importance of conservation. 

When the Lees first moved to the property in 2014, it was simply a large paddock that featured a blackwood forest. Since taking ownership, every year the family has fenced off an area and undertaken planting. Their objective is to plant 10,000 natives! 

Natacha Lee commented that “up to a third of the plants have been grown by us on the property, using locally sourced seeds, with the rest being bought in the local native gardens nurseries”. So awesome to see the family focusing on eco-sourcing! 

Through Trees That Count, thanks to the support from Mazda, the Lee family secured 400 trees for the 2019 planting season. They used a range of natives, from kānuka, kohekohe, rewarewa, matipo, horoeka, karamū, tōtara, wharangi to kōwhai. The planting took place in two areas, around a pond and gully. 

As tradition, the Lees held a working bee to complete their planting. Their family and friends were recruited for a day of fresh air and hard work. Once the native trees were in the ground, the group admired their work over a feast and bonfire. 

With more plans in the pipeline there is no doubt the Lees will be on track to complete their goal in no time!