ECO intern, Emily Donaldson from the U.S HECUA programme, continues her review of conservation work being undertaken by the voluntary sector in New Zealand as surveyed by ECO in August this year.

In this post, Emily looks at the work of the Manawatu group Green Corridors:

Palmerston North is not only home to Massey University. Green Corridors, a voluntary group working in conjunction with Palmerston North City Council, plans and oversees the predominantly riparian planting of reserve areas to encourage native biodiversity. This peri-urban group primarily comprises working professionals with personal and work-related ties to the creation of these ecological corridors.  Ecological corridors of native vegetation offer safe passage and healthy habitats for terrestrial and avian fauna- in this context, along streams from the Tararua Ranges to the Manawatū River, (beginning with reserves in Turitea Valley and Kahuterawa Stream valleys and tributaries).

The projects are long-term, seeking to link urban, suburban, and rural areas for the benefit of indigenous flora and fauna. Successional planting and maintenance usually occurs between May and September, which will hopefully form a broad green buffer zone around urban areas. Pest control and educating the local communities on New Zealand’s biodiversity are also focal points for this environmental group.

Green Corridors calculates the costs of revegetating land on a per hectare basis. The goal is to plant 500 plants per hectare in which the cost per plant covers the pioneer plants, planting, spray releasing and maintenance in the first year and replacement plants from mortality.

$5 donations will contribute to the planting of an eco-consciously sourced native tree. As planting continues to increase on a yearly basis for a fraction of the cost it would take for Council (or any other agency) to complete, each hectare of native plants is offsetting 3,825 tons of carbon dioxide for the next fifty years.

Green Corridors was one of the eighty-one organizations which completed ECO’s Environmental Group Survey on conservation work in New Zealand. In 2014, volunteers and working professionals completed 500 work hours, amounting to approximately 62.5 person-days of work. Although 2014 expenditures amounted to $37,000, the benefits to PNCC and the local communities cover much of the cost in the long run. In the last 9 years, Green Corridors has planted over 85,000 eco-sourced native plants in fifteen hectares of gullies in the Summerhill area and 9.5 hectares of riparian margin along the Turitea Stream.

If you want to learn more about ecological corridors and its ecosystem services (pages 60-67), check out DOC’s work within the Kaimai-Tauranga Catchments:

 

http://www.landcare.org.nz/files/file/292/doc-ecosystem-services.pdf

 

To stay up-to-date with Green Corridors, follow them on Facebook:

 

https://www.facebook.com/Green-Corridors-Palmerston-North-86985539829/

 

Or check out their website:

 

www.pncc.govt.nz/…/council-initiatives/green-corridors

 

 

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