Kaituna estuary planting this weekend

School children taking part in the planting challenge. Images: Supplied.

Western Bay of Plenty students have mucked in to clean up waterways as part of this year’s ANZ Love Your Water Tour.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council, in partnership with multi award-winning charity Sustainable Coastlines, are working with local schools, businesses and volunteers to create cleaner waterways and coastlines.

A group of 190 students from Maketu School, Te Ranga School, Te Matai School, Bethlehem Primary and Papamoa College took up a planting challenge at Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi/Maketu Estuary.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Senior Projects Officer Courtney Bell says Thursday’s planting of 2000 native plants will contribute to 20 hectares of wetlands around the Maketū Estuary margin.

“What these students have planted today will grow and help filter nutrients as well as create breeding areas for fish and birds. They have directly contributed to cleaning our waterways and did an amazing job.”

More planting days are scheduled for this weekend. These are fully inclusive days with access and opportunity for young and old alike.

“We have huge number plants for the lower Kaituna area and would love help from the local community to get them in the ground.”

The Regional Council has more than 50,000 plants to help restore salt marsh in the upper Kaituna estuary this winter.

As part of the ANZ Love Your Water Tour 2019, Sustainable Coastlines is partnering with organisations, schools and community groups across New Zealand to plant tens of thousands of native plants and trees along coastal waterways.

Sustainable Coastlines Co-founder Sam Judd says planting days like this are and excellent way to connect people to nature and establish kaitiakitanga or guardianship for the long term.

“Maketu is a very spiritual place, important to tangata whenua. It’s a privilege for everyone to be here giving some love to this fantastic location,” Sam says.

Weekend Planting Days
Te Pa Ika Planting Day 1, Saturday 22 June, 10am – 1pm, Ford Road, Maketu
Te Pa Ika Planting Day 2, Sunday 23 June, 10am – 1pm, Ford Road, Maketu

All volunteers are welcome. All equipment supplied, but health and safety requirements mean you will need to wear gumboots or sturdy, closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting a bit muddy. A sausage sizzle lunch will be provided by J Swap Contractors.

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