Greater Wellington Regional Council says that with the help of local communities it has planted 30,500 native trees in Queen Elizabeth Park in just the past year.
The Kapiti Independent says it believes this is a record.
These trees make up a major part of a total of 50,00 native trees planted in all the Regional Parks this past year.
Greater Wellington Parks Manager Amanda Cox says the original aim was to plant 35,000 trees from July 2018 to June 2019, not just to beautify but also to combat climate change. However, this goal was far surpassed.
“Our original target was based on tree planting rates at Queen Elizabeth Park. We produce around 15,000 trees out of the nursery there and we supplemented this with around 8000 smaller trees through our low-cost planting programme.
“(But) 30,500 trees were planted in Queen Elizabeth Park alone which is an amazing effort,” Amanda says.
Amanda puts this success down to productive partnerships as well as huge commitment from volunteers in parks across the region.
“This year we had Maclean Trust planting, where a donation funded a big increase in low-cost planting. We also had consistent help from volunteers, school children and corporate groups – driven largely by our park rangers.”
The parks department is now working with Land Management to identify areas on Greater Wellington land that may be suitable to the One Billion Trees initiative to combat climate change.
Steady increase in park goers
Greater Wellington has also seen a steady increase in park goers thanks to a recent survey which revealed 74 per cent of participants had visited a major regional park or forest in the past 12 months, with 97 per cent satisfaction levels.
“We’ve invested enormously in park infrastructure over the years with a big focus on improving accessibility and over all visitor experience.
“The survey showed visitors are enjoying their experiences and coming back for more. Our stakeholder support, for example the mountain biking tracks, and planting work are big drawing cards,” Amanda says.
Greater Wellington Parks Portfolio Leader Prue Lamason says 50,000 native trees planted in one year is an incredible effort.Greater Wellington Parks Portfolio Leader Prue Lamason says 50,000 native trees planted in one year is an incredible effort.
“This number shows how committed communities are to preserving and enhancing their local parks. Our aim is always to get more people outdoors and enjoying the natural spaces our region has to offer so seeing that numbers of park-goers are increasing year-on-year is fantastic.”
PHOTO: Keen planters of all ages contributed to planting an extra 30,500 trees at Queen Elizabeth Park.