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Volunteers crucial part of Bay environmental work

During the last planting season, 4,300 volunteers and another 2,700 school students spent 7,895 hours planting over 70,000 sand-binding natives into our Bay of Plenty sand dunes. Photo/Bay of Regional Council

Each year thousands of volunteers lend a hand to Bay of Plenty Regional Council to ensure the local environment is looked after and protected for the future.

In the last year alone, over 25,000 volunteer hours have been recorded across the region and all those extra hands of support help make the Bay of Plenty regions environment thrive.

From wetland and sand dune restoration, riparian plantings, pest plant and animal eradication and general pollution clean ups volunteers lend a hand through over 50 land, beach and estuary care groups.

This weekend international day of the volunteer is celebrated.

“Volunteers help Regional Council by providing invaluable localised knowledge and hard work, with their diverse skill-sets and experience; and for that we are incredibly grateful,” says Bay of Plenty Regional Council Integrated Catchments General Manager Chris Ingle.

“The Regional Council supports care groups with technical and practical advice, and any materials they might need. We are currently looking for new ways to support the work of these important groups; and also to support any new volunteer groups that are considering starting up in the Bay of Plenty.”

Volunteers help groups like Coast Care Bay of Plenty which is funded by Regional and district Councils and DoC.

During the last planting season, 4,300 volunteers and another 2,700 school students spent 7,895 hours planting over 70,000 sand-binding natives into our Bay of Plenty sand dunes.

Sand dunes are an essential part of our environment; they protect our beaches, providing a critical buffer for roads and homes during severe storm events.

The Awahou Stream Care Group in Rotorua meeting up most Wednesdays and has been restoring nine hectares of streamside land around the Awahou Stream, since 1994.

This year alone has seen 624 volunteer hours donated into the project to keep the Awahou area clear of invasive weeds. Today, the area has been restored to beautiful mature native vegetation that stabilises the stream banks, shades the water and enhances habitat for native fauna.

The Friends of I’Anson Reserve volunteer group shifted up a gear this year despite COVID-19 and racked up 220 volunteer hours. The group know they are in for the long haul with a serious pest plant invasion but progress has been made in their monthly working bees.

Mr Ingle said from the smallest volunteer group to the larger ones contributing across the region they all make a real difference and cumulatively made a huge impact on the volume of work the Councils and community together collectively deliver.

To learn more about volunteers and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council please visit: https://www.boprc.govt.nz/living-in-the-bay/volunteer

 

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