Why I love the messy and the unexplored…

ECO intern and HECUA student Elena Meth is with ECO for a few weeks starting in October 2017.

Elena wrote about what inspires her love of nature, and why getting into and truly being with nature is central to our mental health and well being.

The following is an excerpt from an essay I wrote earlier in the year in response to Richard Louv’s book on child development and environmental psychology, Last Child in the Woods. Louv is best known for his discussion of “Nature-Deficit Disorder,” a phenomenon he describes as the behavioral problems, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and childhood anxiety and depression, which arise from a lack of integration (not just standing around outside) with nature and natural spaces. A short summary and excerpt from the book can be found here: http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/

In my fifth-grade year book, when asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, I responded very matter-of-factly that I would be an environmentalist in the Redwood National Forest. My teacher desperately tried to explain to me than environmentalism wasn’t a career, but I wasn’t convinced. From a young age, I had noticed rows of healthy trees being cut down in neighbors’ yards, or the way my classmates played during recess surrounded by the outdoors, but somehow not quite actually outside. At ten years old, I recognized the issue Richard Louv classifies as “Nature-Deficit Disorder” in Last Child in the Woods, and that it wasn’t just something out of which my friends would grow.

The problem was, and still is, much larger than my suburban classmates scratching bark off a tree and not understanding the ramifications; it is an issue of Louv’s described Third Frontier, that has somehow convinced adults and children alike that it’s alright to stay inside “where the outlets are” (10). One specific issue Louv raises in Last Child in the Woods that resonates with my childhood recollections, both positively and negatively, is the fostering of respect and understanding (or more often lack of) for nature during childhood years.
A major theme of the novel is the recent, and increasingly more severe, disconnect between people and nature. This problem is multi-faceted, but as Louv discusses, it can be rooted in a lack of respect for nature and natural environments.

Just like anything else, respect and understanding comes from interaction. If kids aren’t willing or able to immerse themselves in forests and fields, how are they to know what they are? The idea that kids are no longer playing outside – that they no longer want to go outside – is baffling to me. Some of my earliest memories are from walks through the park with my mother and dog, and my father taking me to programs sponsored by our local nature reserve. I don’t remember learning to respect nature because it was never an explicit lesson at my house. I grew up touching and smelling things I couldn’t understand, not jumping away in disgust.

I do not have a single experience to explain why respecting nature is so meaningful to me, rather I have a cycle of experiences. When I was five years old, my mother drove me to a place called Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, a 134-acre reserve owned and maintained by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (an organization similar to Forest and Bird), only five minutes from our new house. Beechwood instantly became a magical place for me. I remember school trips and after school walks around the property where I was always allowed to explore in every way in which my juvenile self needed.

At Beechwood, no one ever told me not to touch something or to stay back because it “wasn’t safe” (except for a few poison ivy vines). Instead of saying no, and leaving me discouraged and unwilling to further explore, my parents and the educational directors at Beechwood cultivated that curiosity and explained the unknown. As we walked down hot, muddy trails in summer my camp counselors would point out interesting things along the way to enhance our natural knowledge and to keep us pokey campers moving along.

My experiences with Beechwood Farms as a child were so formative, they motivated me to go back as a high school, and now college, student and return the favor for a new generation. As an education volunteer and intern, I led the hikes I remember loving so when I was little. Being on the other side of things, I had the chance to see exactly how psychologically calculative the whole endeavor of environmental education really is.

What seemed like basic hikes when I was eight were actually carefully planned, stimulating and engaging experiences with goals to not only encourage environmental curiosity, respect and understanding, but also general curiosity for the world. Beechwood Farms is a unique place in that it is specifically maintained for educational purposes. The staff have been working for over forty years to maintain trails so toddlers can easily hike them, to provide activities to challenge young minds, and finally to establish relationships that keep kids like me coming back for years to come.

Unlike other, more wild, outdoor places, Beechwood has been so psychologically significant in my life because of the interactions between the environment and people. Sure, I have my favorite tree and path, but it’s the people who have ensured my love for the messy and unexplored that keep me coming back.

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Fix our farming to restore our environment. An opinion piece by Derek Broadmore

Derek Broadmore was an early director of the Environmental Defence Society, a lawyer in Wellington for 35 years and Chair of both BioGro and OANZ at different times. After leaving law he concentrated on his certified organic orchard and farm in the Wairarapa. He is currently living in Auckland and consulting within the organic sector.

 

According to investigative journalist and author Alfred Henry Lewis (in 1906) “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy”. Food, with shelter, is the most basic requirement for human survival. In New Zealand the impact of food production on our natural ecosystems is the biggest environmental issue that we face but we have tended to shy away from tackling it head on. We can’t afford to continue to do that.

I have been involved, in various ways, in the environmental movement for more than 40 years. I think we have tended to regard the “environment” as our rivers, mountains, forests, lakes and coastlines. We saved, or tried to, Manapouri, Pureora and other forests, rivers lakes and wetlands. We protested against dams and tried to stop developments on sensitive coastlines. Somehow we did not get that the tracts of land that connected all these bits of the environment, farmland, were being dramatically changed.

The post second world war green revolution, made possible by synthetic chemicals, changed the way we farmed. And not in a good way. For 70 years now, orchestrated by the global chemical and seed giants and as a matter of economic survival, our farmers have had to produce more and more just to stay afloat. Chemicals and irrigation have given them the tools to do that. The assault on our soils and the degradation of our rivers happened insidiously over time, but the consequences are now obvious.

New Zealand is unusual in the developed world in that 49% of our green house gas emissions are from agriculture. They are the biggest single contributor to our greenhouse gas profile topping the energy sector by nearly 10% (NZ Ministry for the Environment NZ greenhouse gas emissions profile). We are doing almost nothing to reduce them. We have even excluded agriculture from the only (weak) initiative we have taken to meet emissions reduction targets, the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Despite our emissions profile, the climate change protest movement in New Zealand has tended to mimic the overseas protests with a focus on energy and fossil fuels. Our catch cries are the universal “divest” and “keep it in the ground”. We don’t shout “keep it in the cow” about milk, or “diversify” about industrial farming monocultures. Of course, globally, it is important to shift from a fossil fuel based energy system but in New Zealand we have a bigger problem.

It is well known and understood that conventional farming practices degrade our soils. We cannot wholly replenish those soils with chemical fertilisers. Maria-Helena Semedo the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Deputy Director –General recently told a forum organised to mark World Soil Day that it takes 1,000 years to generate 3 centimetres of top soil and that if current rates of degradation continue, globally all of the World’s top soil could be gone within 6o years. She also said:

Unless new approaches are adopted, the global amount of arable and productive land per person in 2050 will be only a quarter of the level in 1960”.

Soil degradation through industrial style conventional agriculture is only one side of a double edged sword that is destroying our environment at a fundamental and possibly irreversible level. The other is irrigation. The demand for more and more production to stay economically viable has meant a huge and increasing demand for water. By way of example, and there are various estimates, but 1000 litres of water to make one litre of milk is an often quoted figure. Water is a finite resource. Farming in New Zealand already demands far more of it than the rest of our ecosystem can afford to give.

If the price we have to pay for our primary industries to remain economically viable is the fertility of our soils and the destruction of our rivers and aquifers then we need to change the drivers for viability. We need to find a production model that works economically at much more sustainable levels of input.

Regenerative organic agriculture does give us a model for a low input, sustainable method of food production. We can preserve the fertility of our soils and vastly reduce our demand for water and still, economically, produce sufficient food to sustain the growing global population. This article is not the place to detail the economic, environmental and health benefits (the business case) of organic food production but I am happy to do that, with the evidence, for anyone interested.

There can’t be any doubt that the greatest threat to our natural environment as we know it is climate change. If we are serious about making a meaningful contribution to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions and, if we are serious about restoring our natural environment in New Zealand then we need to tackle the way we produce food.

ECO has done a huge amount over the years to advocate for our natural environment. I think primary production is an area that it has tended not to focus on although it has certainly been concerned about some of the consequences, particularly as they have affected water ways. It is past time to go directly to the source of the problem.

Given the importance of farming to our economy it is not surprising that environmental groups have tended to shy away from a direct attack on farming methods, focussing instead on trying to ameliorate their effects. However we will not restore our natural environment unless we effect fundamental change to our current farming methods.

 

ECO Submission Summary: the Conservation and Environment Science Roadmap

The Department of Conservation and Ministry for the Environment are working together to identify the areas of scientific knowledge which will be required by government over the next 20 years for decision-making for conservation and environmental policy and management.  This is known as the “roadmap”.

Submissions from interested groups and individuals were invited and ECO made a submission in response to the government discussion paper, which is on the DOC website.

We have summarised our submission below.  The full text of the ECO submission is available on the ECO website here.

Submission Summary:

ECO provided suggestions for improvements to the Conservation and Environment Science Roadmap. The roadmap is a document outlining 12 topics related to environmental science and the ways in which the government, private sector, non-governmental organizations, and individuals can make positive decisions regarding the environment. ECO believes that regarding climate change, the listed goals are too weak and that the roadmap places too much emphasis on raising awareness. The roadmap should encourage a real programme of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emission, such as a goal to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050 rather than the proposed 30% reduction.

While ECO understands the appeal of new environmental technology, it opposes carbon capture and storage because the environmental impacts are not fully known or understood and because it could be used as an excuse to not de-carbonize the economy. ECO also criticized the overarching goal of protecting “highest priority” populations as not being ambitious enough; by referring to some species as “highest priority” it implies giving up on others and this is unacceptable to ECO. ECO also notes that it supports the inclusion of Mātauranga Māori but cautions against the vigorous assertion of Maori property rights at the expense of the health of the environment itself.

Other topics covered in the roadmap included the ecosystems and processes of freshwater, land, coastal and marine, and urban environments as well as biosecurity, and the social and economic dimensions of conservation. In general, ECO felt that the roadmap was too sensitive and had too much “spin” and could benefit from being more blunt or direct. ECO also recommended the addition of topics such as the atmosphere, environmental legal and policy research, and the study of energy alternatives.

Summary written by ECO volunteer Adena Maier

How Drones are Helping Conservation Efforts

Author Emma Mills is a wildlife enthusiast and writer who came across a site where drone footage is made publicly available, including that of nature and wildlife.  Emma considers the many uses of this drone footage for conservation and safer tourism – and what we in New Zealand can learn from it.

Could New Zealand learn something from big game conservation in Africa? Up and down the continent, governments and NGOs are working on integrating drone technology into their conservation efforts. For two centuries or more, magnificent animals such as lions, rhinos, and elephants have been hunted to near extinction levels for their pelts, tusks, and horns. Drones are now becoming part of the effort to save those still existing in the wild.

A New Tool Against Poachers

Drones combine relatively discrete movements with the ability to access difficult locations and create film footage. The main use of drones in Africa is to help protect so-called big game from poachers who want to sell body parts on the black market either as trophies or for pseudo-medical purposes. Some parts of the middle east also want big cat kittens as pets, which usually means the killing of their parents. Drones provide a flexible and easily moved means of monitoring wildlife populations and scouting for potential poachers. This allows conservationists to better deploy their police and gamekeepers to combat them.

Protecting Gamekeepers from the Animals

Big game in Africa does not know the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. Looking after, protecting, and monitoring large animals such as these is a dangerous business. Animals can be surprised, defensive, or just plain hungry. By using drones, governments have been able to monitor their movements, health, breeding, feeding, and other aspects of their lives without disrupting them, startling them or endangering gamekeepers.

Drones Promote Safe Tourism

Most people recognize drones for their ability to produce stunning aerial and sweeping video footage. This footage is not just useful for conservationists, but also in promoting ecological and ethical tourism on the continent. Wildlife videos can inspire new generations of people to help Africa’s wildlife, as seen on social video sharing sites such as YouTube and AirVuz.

What New Zealand Can Learn From This

We Kiwis may lack big cats, rhinos and elephants, but ecological conservationism is just as important to us as any other country; perhaps more so. Africa is using drones for a positive future to protect endangered species and monitor animals in remote, hard to access areas. It is also reducing the risks presented to conservationists and promoting correct tourism. New Zealand can learn from this to correctly utilize drones for less accessible areas, to maintain the integrity of easily disturbed animals and birds. However, if utilized, an impact study should be conducted to ensure the drones themselves will not disturb the animals, which some studies in America have shown.

The Environmental Impact Of Cigarette Litter

Daisy Poe from Quitza draws our attention to the immense threat to our marine environment and air quality caused by smoking and discarded butts.

Quitza is a non profit where users from all over the world support each other while quitting smoking using Quitza’s custom made social support network. Quitza combines the social support with real time progress tracking technologies where users earn awards when they reach milestones throughout their quit. These are then shared with the community for further support.

 

According to the WHO there are currently over 1 billion smokers globally.

Six million of those smokers will die each year from a smoking related illness.

The negative consequences of smoking range far from just the health effects on the individual. The environmental impact caused by improper disposal of cigarette butts is as large as it is concerning.

Each year 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded improperly around the world. They are the single most littered item in existence, ever.

It is in our towns and cities that the vast majority of cigarette ends are discarded improperly. With the help of wind and rain they are often blown or washed into our waterways. They then either remain in our lakes and rivers, make their way to the ocean, or get washed up in our natural spaces.

While in our waterways cigarette butts can often be mistaken for food by aquatic life. If a human adult ingests a cigarette butt they are likely to have some mild health consequences such as vomiting and a upset stomach. Imagine the pain and suffering ingesting a cigarette butt would cause to an animal the size of a fish. (Symptoms include vomiting, respiratory failure, and often death.)

If the cigarette butt gets washed out of our waterways onto a riverbank or onto the beach, non marine life faces the same issue. Land animals will also mistake it for food, ingest it, and receive the same potentially lethal consequences as aquatic life.

To make matters worse, (contrary to popular belief) cigarette butts are not biodegradable. They can take up to 25 years to fully degrade. While they do so they are releasing over 4000 toxins into the soil or water that surrounds them

It would be tempting to discount this issue due to the small size of a cigarette butt. However a study conducted by SDSU found that a single cigarette butt placed in a 1 litre tank of water killed half the fish in the tank.

When we remember our initial statistic of 4.3 trillion improperly discarded cigarettes butts each year, the cause for concern arising from these toxic chemicals entering our ecosystem becomes apparent.

So what can we do to reduce the amount of harm caused to our environment by cigarette litter?

 

Various research organizations and public health bodies around the world have proposed a variety of solutions to this issue. However one main common solution to the issue is commonly agreed upon.

 

Many people are simply unaware of just how large the problem of improperly disposed cigarette litter is. They are unaware of how harmful it is to the environment.

 

Through education and awareness campaigns it is possible to reduce the amount of cigarette litter that is improperly disposed of, reducing the scale of the problem.

 

It’s time to start treating cigarette butts like the toxic waste they actually are.

Choose Clean water – petition to be presented 29 March!

The Choose Clean Water Campaign now has over 10,000 signatures and is aiming for 15,000 before presenting it to Parliament on 29 March.

If you have not already signed the petition you can do so here.

Please come along to the petition presentation event on 29 March at 1pm at Parliament.  Please come and support the petition and the Freshwater team.

The Choose Clean Water team are volunteers who have worked for the love of freshwater, and need your help to cover the costs of printing, publicity materials and a mic and speakers for the presentation to parliament. This will be around $2000.

If you can spare a little (or a lot), it is all appreciated.
Go here to donate.

Mike Joy’s book Polluted Inheritance is available on Bridget Williams Books website as a BWB text.  In this 61-page book Mike demonstrates how the intensification of dairying has degraded our rivers, lakes and waterways to an alarming degree – risking the wellbeing of future generations.  This book will make you angry – and is an urgent call to action.

We know that our freshwater species are disappearing rapidly as the Society for Conservation Biology report last year revealed.

The government recently announced further funding for three more irrigation schemes for dairying in traditionally dry areas such as Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne – at a time when dairying is weak and has a dubious future.

Three Hawke’s Bay rivers are still out of bounds to the community because of silt spilling from the Waihi Dam. Erosion, farming and forestry are all causing regular damage to Hawke’s Bay rivers.  Maraetotara Lagoon has just been ruled out of bounds to swimming due to excessive faecal matter.

Still in Hawke’s Bay, Forest and Bird are appealing a decision by the High Court which approved DOC’s decision to downgrade and swap land in the Ruahine Forest Park to provide land needed for the Ruataniwha Dam.  Even if the dam does not proceed, the Judge’s decision sets a worrying precedent for the security of conservation land in New Zealand.

A renaissance in the Waikato

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

 

 

A positive bias for Bushy Park!

ECO’s intern and HECUA student Emily Donaldson continues her series looking at ecological restoration projects happening around New Zealand, based upon the survey work ECO undertook last winter.

In this article Emily reviews the sterling work being done by Bushy Park at Whanganui.


Bushy Park: Part Bush, Part Park, Part Homestead

I will admit upfront my (positive) bias towards Bushy Park Sanctuary in Whanganui. I will also add that a panel from Ecological Management & Restoration (a journal of the Ecological Society of Australia) and the Society for Ecological Restoration International deemed Bushy Park as one of the top twenty-five ecological restoration projects in Australia and New Zealand in 2009.

Our HECUA study abroad programme visited the one hundred predator-free fenced hectares this September, tramping its trails, counting kereru, checking traps, and exploring the fence line. In addition to Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari and Zealandia, this ecological sanctuary has left an indelible mark on me.

Bestowed to Forest & Bird in 1962, Bushy Park is cared for by Bushy Park Trust, enhancing native avian and endangered species populations and providing environmental education opportunities, trails for recreation, and a Homestead for entertainment and accommodations. The Edwardian-era homestead, a Category One Heritage Building registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, harbors twenty-two rooms and a treasure trove of Maori and other historical and cultural artifacts.

Reflecting its cultural richness and diversity, Bushy Park’s species richness and biodiversity includes bellbirds, kereru, north island robin, saddlebacks, hihi, moreporks, fantail, grey warbler, pukeko, silvereye, kingfishers, white-faced heron, and some kiwi. Giraffe weevils, glowworms, and huhu beetles also inhabit Bushy Park, residing in the diverse native bush and wetland. Stoats, ferrets, weasels, possums, feral cats, hedgehogs and rats once threatened many of these endemic species, but recently mice and rats are the main mammalian species left.

Although we only checked a few tracks, 12,000 volunteer-hours were contributed to Bushy Park in 2014, according to ECO’s environmental group survey. Running on a pricey budget of $60,000, Bushy Park appreciates all visitors, volunteers or otherwise.

Bushy Park

Habitat and bird protection, monitoring for predators, upgrading of tracks & signage, and maintenance accounts for much of the workload within the fence. With ongoing work and a long-term vision, I would love to return to Busy Park to offer a helping hand and see its progress. Its value, cultural, historical, and ecological, is irreplaceable.

 

Please, spend some time exploring Bushy Park online:

 

http://www.bushyparksanctuary.org.nz/

Ecological transition in Hawke’s Bay

In this third article in a series reviewing the responses to a survey ECO undertook on ecological restoration and conservation work being performed by the voluntary sector in New Zealand, ECO HECUA intern Emily Donaldson looks at the work being done by the Ahuriri Estuary Restoration Group:

Transitioning from fresh water to open coast, estuaries support a diverse range of habitats and human activities, serving as an integral part of  our New Zealand cultural identity. The complexity of these ecological systems proffer many ecosystem services including food production, recreational opportunities, trade hubs, and processing contaminants from the land.

The intricacy of the ecological interrelationships and ecosystem processes demand comprehensive research and precautionary management. Current New Zealand estuarine ecosystems still harbour high biodiversity, despite many stressors, such as the location of most major cities near estuarine ecosystems.

Thankfully, environmental groups and organizations like the Ahuriri Estuary Restoration Group, Forest and Bird, and the Department of Conservation are looking after these critical and fragile ecosystems. Ahuriri Estuary Restoration Group aims to sustain the health of this estuary primarily through weed control and plantings, typically over about 40 hectares of the lower estuary. This volunteer group formed in 2003 after fire destroyed an area of 10 year old plantings in the lower Ahuriri estuary, working to plant native species (manuka, flax, kowhai, and more), clean-up rubbish, maintain signage and tracks, and remove many weeds, such as wattle and boneseed.

The Restoration Group keep track of some of its exceptional work; in taking ECO’s Environmental Group Survey, they contributed even more information on their commendable efforts. 300 to 600 plants are put in each year, typically in the winter. Although the group honed in on 40 hectares initially, they indicated that the estuary requires 200 hectares of attention. Devoting 150 person-days of work as well as 1,200 volunteer hours, the group is also taking on an advocacy role for conservation and restoration. The stewardship of this estuary and its tangible results were acknowledged in the survey: “The site has been transformed from a weedy area with few native plants to a well vegetated asset to the local area. Wildlife habitat enhanced and weeds reduced.”

To find out more about the Ahuriri Estuary Restoration Group, click on the following links:

http://www.naturespace.org.nz/groups/ahuriri-estuary-restoration-group

http://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/volunteer/groups/hawkes-bay/ahuriri-estuary-volunteer-group/

Read up on the specifics of New Zealand estuarine ecosystem services at:

http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/77044/1_16_Thrush.pdf

 

Rangi and Papa’s Vestibules

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