A forest takes root

21 May 2019

An eco-army of enthusiastic volunteers swung into action wielding spades, digging holes and tending saplings at a mass planting of around 520 native seedlings in the Red Zone on Sunday 19 May.

Led by Physics teacher David Newton, College has joined forces with Shirley Boys’ High School (SBHS) and the Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park network in an ambitious project to replant 1.5 hectares of the Red Zone in Burwood, Christchurch. Their vision is to create a vibrant city-to-sea native forest park along the river and encourage the return of native birds and other fauna to the area.

The seedlings are all eco sourced from the area and have been nurtured in plant nurseries at both College and SBHS.

“We want to see more native birds in Christchurch and this is a huge opportunity to plant a forest that runs as a green spine through the city,” says David. “The best thing you can do to encourage native bird life back to the city is to plant trees that become a year-round supply of bird food. The sorts of trees we’re planting were all originally grown in the area, and include Kahikatea, Totara and Five Finger.”

Other planting days this year will be in June, August and September.

“Families can come and plant a tree or alternatively they could donate $10 for us to plant it for them. We’ll then provide them with a permanent record of which block their tree is planted in. We are using the trees as a fundraiser to help pay for equipment like wheelbarrows to spread mulch, reducing herbicide use, as well as paying for Eco-Action Satellite Nurseries provided to other schools so they can join in and grow their own trees.”

David says the project relies on the goodwill and assistance of many people and, in particular, thanks Canterbury Landscape Supplies, Mainland Tanks & Drums and Tiki Wines for their support. For more information about Eco-Action Nursery and to sponsor a tree, go to http://eco-action.co.nz/

Tree Planting 8819 reduced