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The continuation of the major planting project at Smiths Creek has been a long and wearisome project at times as the Trust comes to the end of this years planting. Without the invaluable work of a team of dedicated volunteers our work with the Trees That Count project would not have been possible. One group who has been tireless in its assistance of the Hereweka Trust has been the Dunedin City Council Task-force Green volunteers. They have moved mountains of materials and plants as well as tackling some of the stubborn areas of gorse left remaining within the catchment. The Trust are very grateful for the all of the help we have had this year and hope that the last few months will not stop people coming back next year!
To show our appreciation Trust members Paul Pope and Lala Frazer put on a barbecue for the large team of over 30 people we had at Smiths Creek today. We have certainly put the group through their paces as they ate through 60 sausages and 40 pieces of marinated steak. There’s nothing like hard work outdoors to give people a hearty appetite! Well done everyone, it was our pleasure and we look forward to seeing you all back next year. (Click on pictures to see full size)
The Hereweka Harbour Cone property has a fascinating history and landscape, and now new citizens are able to add to that history and put down new roots in New Zealand. The Dunedin City Council offers new citizens the option of having their gift tree planted on the public land of the Hereweka Harbour Cone Block so that it remains and flourishes in perpetuity. Recently Lara Jones planted the kowhai she was given at Smiths Creek when she became a New Zealand citizen. Here she is observed by dog, Zak, who regularly supervises the planting of native trees in the Smiths Creek area.
Kia ora Lara, nau mai haere mai
Broad Bay School pupils won the Toroa award at the Conservation Week awards on Tuesday 3rd November. Otago Peninsula Trust chairman Ross Smith presented the pupils with the award, which came with $500 in funding for their conservation project at Smiths Creek. The pupils also won the collaboration of a Department of Conservation ranger, who would help with their project. For three years, the school has been involved with the freshwater creek protection and enhancement project at Smiths Creek co-ordinated by Save The Otago Peninsula (STOP). Each winter they have spent a day or more planting native trees to provide shade and absorb agricultural runoff and slow erosion. In the past two years they have provided their own plants and the pupils are eager to continue their work at Smiths Creek, which has also included monitoring the water quality and aquatic habitat.
Horticulture students under the guidance of tutor Lisa Burton spent a morning with Hereweka Trustees and Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group project manager Cathy Rufaut at Smiths Creek recently. The students looked at the Smiths Creek restoration project with trustee Lala Frazer and saw the planting work undertaken by the Save the Otago Peninsula group. There was also time for the students to look at the possum control project and its methodologies undertaken by the OPBG. The students then took a guided walk to the summit of Hereweka before the threatening rain arrived. The purpose of the students visit was to give them a broad understanding of the property values as well as its challenges and scale. It is hoped that this initial visit will develop into a long-term partnership where the students can learn and test their skills in ecological restoration.