Residents at William Sanders Retirement Village were invited to adopt a native tree by local eco-group Restoring Takarunga Hauraki (RTH) at a special presentation this week.
By nurturing the young trees for a year or two on their apartment balcony, they would then stand a better chance of growing well when planted out along one of the three eco-corridors on the peninsula, said Volunteer Coordinator for RTH, Anne McMillan.
The seeds were locally sourced and grown in one of the three nurseries which RTH currently runs, she said.
When eventually planted out the trees could create a beautiful space like Mary Barrett Glade (also known as Polly’s Park or Wakakura) which runs along the boundary of William Sanders village and is part of the Ngau-te-ringaringa eco-corridor.
Anne credited Mabel ‘Polly’ Pollock and the work she did in creating this urban native forest right on the boundary of what is now the Ryman retirement village, overlooking Ngataringa Bay.
By planting hundreds of native trees, this in turn would encourage the populations of native insects, birds and reptiles to grow.
“You’ve got to really admire Polly for getting all that diversity there,” said Anne. “There are 50 different tree species in Wakakura so 100 different species of insect.
“And that’s how we’re going to increase our biodiversity, by getting more habitat for these creatures.”
Around 2,500 native plants had been grown in the nursery so far with an ambitious annual goal of 40,000 now being targeted.
A number of village residents, pictured above with the the RTH team, were already ‘doing their bit’, with weekly meetings in the Glade next door for weeding sessions to keep the invasive weed species at bay and one resident conducting regular native bird counts.
Meanwhile two other residents have set up a pest trap production line in the village workshop, to eradicate rats.
One of the pest traps made by residents at William Sanders, now in position at Mary Barrett Glade (above) and Anne McMillan presents to residents at the village (below).
Said Anne: “We place chew cards to test if rats are around. There are no stoats at the moment – yay – and very few possums. Rats are our main problem on the peninsula.
“When predators are removed, wildlife bounces back.”
Anne said the funding for their organisation came from a number of sources.
“The Devonport and Takapuna Local Boards are our foundation funder along with Auckland Council, Auckland Foundation, Tūpuna Maunga Authority, the Recycling Centre and Ryman Healthcare, who have supported the set-up of our third nursery next to the Claystore.”
Anne said there were other ways residents could consider to support the work that RTH does as well as the obvious financial donations which were of course very much welcomed.
Tending to the pest traps, by removing the pests and replacing the bait was one way, as was buying the trees and replacing exotics with natives.
Even washing the gloves that the group use for their weeding and planting work would be a helpful effort, and important as it reduces the spread of disease amongst the plants.
Anne said visiting the RTH website and spreading the word amongst family and friends all helped to boost the profile of their organisation and the work they do.
RTH Co-Chair Gordon Brodie at the Ngau-te-ringaringa nursery with the newly-laid Duder bricks donated by Ryman Healthcare. The bricks originate from the Duder Brickworks and were excavated during the village construction.