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What a fabulous day! The weather was brilliantly sunny and by the time we arrived to start planting at 10am, Felicity and the team from The Plant People had set out all of the plants; each provided with a slow-release fertilizer tablet to ensure that they get a good start. So all that was required was a small hole to be dug and the plant to be inserted. They also provided some spades that were a lot better than ours.
Simi helped with instructing people in how to do the planting while other team members took on the dangerous job of planting the steeper areas closer to the creek. We had a steady stream of people, both adults and kids, coming to help including some who just happened to be walking by but stopped to plant a couple of native grasses. Richard from Project Twin Streams, who came along as a volunteer, knew some of the children from a previous visit to Birdwood School. He had brought along spades suitable for the smaller ones and the kids were soon getting on with their digging. It was great to see their enthusiasm. Christine Rose, a candidate for Auckland Council, came along to support the event and showed that she was an experienced digger!
It was fantastic to see such a great turnout of local residents helping out to improve their environment. They were all happy to hear that the lighting for the footbridge will be coming soon. We had so many volunteers that all of the plants were in the ground by 10:40am, well ahead of our planned end time of 12pm. A number of people who turned up a little later all prepared to muck in and help, including Henderson-Massey Local Board member Tracy Kirkley with her two children and Keep Waitakere Beautiful Chairman John Riddell were quite disappointed that there was no more planting to be done.
Thanks to The Plant People and Ian Lamont & Mark Miller from Auckland Council for their support with this initiative. We would also like to thank Tag Out Trust for their continued efforts with removing graffiti from the fences adjacent to the footbridge and planting area prior to the planting day.
View the slide show below to see the volunteers at work. Well done everyone!