HECUA student and ECO intern Emily Donaldson continues her series looking at ecological restoration projects in New Zealand.   Her research is based upon the survey work undertaken by ECO earlier this year.

 

There’s more happening in the Waikato than just dairy farming. Two hectares of the upper Mangaiti Gully in Hamilton is undergoing a native flora renaissance in hopes of reestablishing native fauna, in turn. Through comprehensive and prudent planning, with support from the Department of Conservation, New Zealand Landcare Trust, and the University of Waikato, the Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust wants to incite community interaction, create an education resource, form a local urban resource for recreation, and epitomize good governance.

The Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust’s purpose, according to ECO’s 2014 survey of conservation work by environmental groups, reiterated the goals of restoration (to pre-European status), reestablishing native fauna, and sustainably collaborating with other people and organizations that share similar objectives. Weed clearing, planting, track construction, shade house extension, pest control, native species introduction, and general maintenance all contribute to this vision. Beginning in 2010, the Trust honed in on dominant canopy trees, such as the Kahikatea, Pukatea, Swamp Maire, and Pokaka found in this very wet, steep ecosystem.

Seeing as the gully is Hamilton City Council land, the council helps the resource gully restoration groups by supplying trees to plant and to fund other needs. The Trust’s expenses in 2014 were $4191, relying on 1,134 volunteer hours to achieve a commendable amount of restoration work, often during weekly “3-hour working bees.” Their blog is just as impressive as the community project, updating and detailing many of the different initiatives and species introductions, removals, and monitoring.

Check out the blog and their great photos at:

http://gullyrestoration.blogspot.co.nz/

NZ Landcare Trust also featured Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust’s work in December, 2011:

http://www.landcare.org.nz/News-Features/Features/Mangaiti-Gully-Restoration-Group

 

 

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