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Volunteer helps restore Kōwhai Park

Published: 14 January 2021

Tim Armitage volunteers to carry out weed control in Warkworth’s Kōwhai Park, where among its abundance of native flora and spectacular trees, are weeds.

His devotion sees him painstakingly removing pest plants - exacting work that targets and sprays weeds while keeping that spray out of the park’s ecosystem.

Supporting volunteers like Tim is a priority for Rodney Local Board. The board area spans almost 2500 square kilometres, about a quarter of it bush, and there are more than 350 local parks.

Deputy Chair Beth Houlbrooke says the board has forged strong partnerships with locals dedicated to enhancing the area’s environment.

“Tim is a legend. He’s achieved so much in his first year at Kōwhai Park. His dedication and enthusiasm are truly inspirational.

“We are incredibly fortunate having skilled and motivated volunteers who tackle issues like pest eradication and environmental restoration in our reserves.

“Volunteers devote thousands of hours every year looking after our environment.

“We couldn’t do it without them.”

Tim targets many invasive tree species such as privet and acmena. Last November, a year since he started, he completed a second pass through most of the reserve.

“The gift that is Kōwhai Park isn’t looking too bad right now, says Tim.

“There is so little trad (Tradescantia fluminensis) anywhere in the park now that very few people would spot it.

“The climbing asparagus (Asparagus scandens) has been a real challenge this spring. I’ve managed to get it all within the main part of the park. Getting it before any seed has a chance to set will help with control in years to come.”

Tim works methodically and divides the park into zones to tackle weed infestations.

He is determined to stop regrowth at the park bordered by the private homes and businesses he visits, to offer residents help, and let them know about his efforts.

There are 40 volunteer groups involved in restoration work in parks across Rodney. They plant trees, weed, and eradicate rats and other pests. To discuss a project or to volunteer, contact Community Park Ranger Sinead Brimacombe via Auckland Council 09 301 01 01.

People keen to know more about the board’s environmental and restoration activities, funding and investment decisions should read the Rodney Local Board Plan 2020 available on the council website.

Read more: Environment Parks Rodney

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