Clean, green...and no weeds

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 11:04 18/09/2012
Kumutoto planting
ISOBEL EWING

Giving life: Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown helps with replanting at the Kumutoto restoration site on Saturday.

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The Wellingtonian

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An area in Kelburn that used to be carpeted with noxious weeds is now home to 250 new native plants, thanks to a Victoria University conservation group.

Thirty volunteers turned up at the Kumutoto restoration site next to Club Kelburn gym on Saturday morning to plant the trees provided by Wellington City Council.

The restoration site is a project led by the Victoria University chapter of the international organisation Society for Conservation Biology.

The site has been an on-going project this year, with chapter member Mikey Willcox using the group's Facebook page to rally volunteers to clear weeds and monitor plant survivorship.

President of the chapter and zoology student Kerry Charles said the chapter was made up of university students, but she said that anyone was welcome.

She said it was a great opportunity for students to get their hands dirty for a good cause.

"We don't get a lot of chances to do field work, so it's good to get a chance to put some plants in the ground," she said.

Another member, Elizabeth Heeg, said the steep nature of the site made the project a challenge.

"We've all got awesome calf muscles," she said.

She said the path through the Kumutoto site would be enjoyed by commuters from the city to the Kelburn campus.

Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown demonstrated her enthusiasm by hefting a shovel and planting two trees in the tough, root-filled ground.

She said she was impressed with the restoration group's work, and said the birds in the canopy above appeared to share her sentiments.

"The kaka approve and the mayor approves; it's great work, people," she said.

The chapter also monitors nest boxes of penguins on Wellington's south coast in its programme Places for Penguins, and runs environmental submission-writing workshops.

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- The Wellingtonian

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