Volunteers back move to beautify Maitai Valley

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 11:49 11/08/2014
Community Planting Day
PATRICK HAMILTON/NELSON MAIL
COMMUNITY GROWTH: Graeme Seymour of Stoke helps his son Jack , 6, plant a tree during the Community Planting Day  the Maitai Valley

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"Keen and enthusiastic" Nelsonians who dug in to beautify the Maitai Valley are urged to take ownership of their work to keep weeds and grasses at bay.

Yesterday, more than 120 people planted 2700 native plants as part of the Community Planting Day on the Maitai River esplanade at the Waahi Taakaro Golf Club.

The event was a partnership between community group Friends of the Maitai and the Nelson City Council.

Friends of the Maitai spokeswoman Ami Kennedy said planters were so "keen and enthusiastic" about the work, the native trees and shrubs were all in the ground within three hours - two hours earlier the anticipated.

"It was fantastic, very positive, wonderful to see so many in the community there for the common vision for improvement."

Planters came from all over the district, from the forestry industry, through to teenagers, she said.

The group planted a mixture of river terrace plants, including flax. "They were all native and fit the ecosystem and the area of the golf course."

The plants were supplied by Nelson City Council contractors Nelmac, who had identified the area that needed the plants and the sorts that would suit it.

Kennedy said there were a variety of community and environmental groups present supplying information to planters.

"I think it's important to take action for the things we care about. From what I have experienced, Nelson is very attached to its river and cares about it, it shows in events like yesterday, people come out and do the work, and make a difference."

She also wanted to see planters take ownership of their work and take on follow-up care of the plants, by weeding the area in coming years. "It's a nice opportunity for the community to take it further."

She said plants needed to be reclaimed from grass growth, and the group did not want to rely on herbicides to do this.

Friends of the Maitai were planning a similar day in mid September.

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- The Nelson Mail

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