The Pest Free Howick team have been run off their feet as residents take up the challenge of helping build a better ecological future for their area.
Hundreds of people swapped moth plants and pods they had rooted out for a free native plant at Lloyd Elsmore Park and organiser Lorelle Stranaghan could not be more delighted.
"When we posted the event lots of people chipped in with the location of moth plants on their properties, so we had a pretty decent haul."
Howick Local Board and Pest Free Howick provided disposal bins at the park, where residents could dispose of moth and rhamnus plants and take home a native for their gardens in exchange for their hard work.
Gardener Oliver Hoffmann managed to fit 16 bags - about 4000 pods - into the boot of the car, one podder arrived with a trailer full of the pest plant, and teachers arrived with bags collected by pupils.
"Pest Free Howick does a great job and we have to thank all the residents who have taken the time to join the fight for our environment too," board chair David Collings says.
Demand high for pest trapping tips
Keen pest trappers have kept staff on their toes too, with a recent free workshop oversubscribed.
The course featured information on trapping in backyards and small reserves, looking at a range of tools for trapping possums, rats and stoats.
Participants were taught the best tools for their properties, where to place traps and how to monitor the catch.
Because the event was oversubscribed the board and Pest Free plan to stage another one soon. The workshops are part of the Auckland Pest Free 2050 programme.