Upper Waitematā community nursery project recognised

Publish Date : 02 Dec 2021
Upper Waitematā community nursery project recognised
Herald Island Environmental Group's mist house

An innovative project growing native plants for large scale restoration projects in the Upper Harbour Local Board area was a finalist in the Auckland Mayoral Conservation Awards.

The Upper Waitematā Ecology Network’s Community Nurseries Project supplies ecological restoration groups with hundreds of native plants grown from locally sourced seeds.

Coordinator Carole Tilman says the Upper Waitematā Ecology Network (UWEN) is an open forum for the many groups and organisations who restore and regenerate the ecology of the Upper Waitematā Harbour.

“The volunteer network brings together people and ideas. The network is a very effective way to access advice, experience and knowledge to achieve good outcomes for restoration projects.

“Volunteers collaborate and find solutions; an example is the seed collector training.

“Training is funded by the council and organised with Uru Whakaaro Ltd and their joint programme with Kaipātiki Project ‘Iwi, hapū, community nursery network’.

“The comprehensive training includes topics such as cultural practices, hygiene, health and safety, identifying the right plants, and knowing when to harvest the seeds.”

Board chair Lisa Whyte says the local board is proud to support communities who care for and restore the natural environment.

“Our community is helping the nursery sector with a project that is innovative, inspiring and shows the brilliant work being done to improve natural habitats.”

UWEN Community Nurseries Project member Jan Diprose from Herald Island Environmental Group says that seed germination is the most technical aspect of nursery work and requires specialist knowledge and equipment.

“The group has invested in a mist house and is experimenting with different techniques and potting mediums to germinate plants that are difficult to grow.

“A long-term goal is to develop a local hub that can germinate seeds collected by volunteers and distribute them to network nurseries to grow the plants.”

Tilman says people wanting to know more, should visit Facebook.com/upperwaitematāecologynetwork

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