Meet our March pest free hero, another winner of the Mayoral Conservation Awards – Restoration Award recipient, Matuku Link.
The Matuku Link refers to 37 hectors of wetland and native bush, part of Waitakere Valley’s last remaining big block of woodland.
A team of trustees has been working on conserving and restoring the area to encourage pre-European reforestation, setting up the Sustainable Wetland Education Centre and has established a nursery to provide the wetland with eco-sourced plants.
An eclectic mix of volunteers from every part of the community has come together to tackle the project, from Brownie groups, Rotary Club Members, the Graeme Dingle foundation members, teens, a Nga Tahu wananga, kindergarteners, (and their parents, obviously), and visitors from all over the world.
With more than 4000 hours of volunteer time recorded in the first year alone, the community has jumped into action; they’ve installed bait stations and possum traps, removed the horses which roamed over the land; and are transforming the grasslands and flats along the Waitakere River to wetland forests and sledge beds to enable the native flora to flourish.
They’ve built an onsite nursery too, using recycled materials, which is already producing thousands of seeds.
The group also partnered with Auckland Zoo for rodent control, Unitec for design and Sustainable coastlines for volunteers. Meanwhile, Unitech School of Landscape Architecture students are currently transforming and repurposing a barn into a Sustainable Wetlands Education Centre.
This work is particularly crucial in the wider pest-free project as Matuku Link sits next to the Forest & Bird Matuku Reserve and completing a Ridges-to-the-Sea area of protected habitat. The team has also been working in connection with the Ark in the Park and Habitat te Henga conservation projects; and Bethell’s Beach Care group.
Find out more about Matuku Link.
You can get involved with Pest Free Auckland 2050 a community-led conservation programme facilitated by Auckland Council or find a conservation group near you at Nature Space.