Volunteers rescue Kōwhai Park from foreign invaders

Native flora flourishes thanks to hard work from Rodney gardeners

Last Updated : 21 Oct 2015
Volunteers rescue Kōwhai Park from foreign invaders
Left to right: volunteers Clare Ellison, Sally Richardson, Heather Provan and Tim Ellison in Kōwhai Park.

Hard work and perseverance are paying off for gardening volunteers at Kōwhai Park in Warkworth.

Tim Ellison, who lives near the park, decided to take action several years ago. He wanted to eradicate Tradescantia fluminensis, which forms dense mats and smothers seedlings and small plants.

In a one-year trial, Mr Ellison completely eradicated the weeds from a specific area. For the first time dormant seedlings took root, and now kōwhai, kahikatea, tōtara and other species are growing in weed-free areas.

A group of volunteers, including several Forest & Bird members, meet fortnightly in the park and spend several hours weeding. Through their efforts, native bush is regenerating and bird numbers are increasing.

Beth Houlbrooke, Chairperson of Rodney Local Board Parks, Culture and Community Development Committee, says volunteers make the difference to community projects.

“It is their dedication, time and skills given so generously that make our parks even better,” she says.

Auckland Council supports the group by providing rubbish bags, tools, plants and advice.

Anyone interested in the Kōwhai Project can contact Tim Ellison on 022 037 2900.

To volunteer in another park, contact Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.

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