Help restore the Creek's forest

Kapi-Mana News | 16 June 2009

 

The Friends of Maara Roa group is trying to bring the forest back to Cannons Creek, and hoping the community can lend a hand this Saturday.

Friends founder Sylvia Jenkin hopes to see people from around the region come to Cannons Creek Valley and join in a Friends planting day, sponsored by Greater Wellington and the Honda TreeFund.  The Friends aim to plant 1200 trees and shrubs, and are eager to welcome newcomers.

"Planting days are fun: you get to enjoy the great outdoors, and you get the satisfaction of doing your bit to improve the environment." says Ms Jenkin.  "And, of course, we're always on the lookout for more volunteers - every pair of helping hands makes a huge difference to our work."

Ms Jenkin says the remnant forest in Cannons Creek is a very precious community resource.  The Porirua basin-Johnsonville area has a population of 80,000, and this is the only accessible piece of native bush on the Belmont hills that provides recreational opportunities close to people's homes.

The Friends formed in 1999 with a vision to enhance and restore the native forest on the Porirua side of Greater Wellington's Belmont Regional Park.  Since then, native trees have begun to return, and pest animals and plants have been greatly reduced.  The group also grows seedlings, saving considerable sums that would otherwise have been spent on plants.

But there have been setbacks.  In 2003. a bushfire destroyed a lot of their plantings. The Friends have since developed green firebreaks in strategic places to reduce the risk of fires spreading in the future.

The group's achievements were recognised by Greater Wellington Regional Council last year when it was joint winner of the Rata Community Partnership Award, a category in Greater Wellington's annual Environmental Awards.

Friends of Maara Roa planting day, June 20, [2009], 9.30am to 12pm, Warspite Ave (behind the shops) in Cannons Creek.  Bring strong shoes. warm clothing, snacks and drinks.  Spades and gloves provided.  For more information, phone Ross Jackson: 04 802 0331 or email ross.jackson@gw.govt.nz.