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Conservation Volunteers—June 11-15, 2012

June 16, 2012

Our 2012 planting efforts moved ahead this week thanks to perfect weather and a great team from Conservation Volunteers NZ. 

The group included Matthias from Switzerland, Blair from Scotland, Tamanja and Stephanie from Belgium, Brigid from England and Anna, Verena, Andrea and Marius from Germany and was led by Dawn Gasparro of CVNZ. This was Andrea and Brigid’s second visit to CUE Haven and we were happy to have them back.

The team arrived on Monday morning just as Rodney and Jane Straka of Scrub Growers Ltd were delivering a huge load of plants.  Before we even had a chance to welcome the volunteers, they went to work helping unload the plants.

Then, after a short orientation to the CUE Haven project, introductions and lunch, the group went to work.  We had planned a few different activities to keep the work interesting, but planting was our main priority.

When the new trees are planted, we mark them with a bamboo stake.  The tops of the stakes are painted white so that when the weeds and grass grow up in the summer, we can find the trees and weed around them.

It was a challenge keeping the team supplied with plants and we had to regularly bring up truckloads of trees to the planting site:

The team worked away in great conditions:

For the most part, the weather was perfect and even when it did rain, there was a rainbow to enjoy:

One morning, Matthias and Blair put down their spades and became fencers.  On our northern boundary we have an electric fence to keep the neighbor’s cows from taking too much of an interest in what is going on on the other side of the fence.  We wanted to upgrade the earthing system and that involved pounding in four two metre long earthing stakes.  Matthias and Blair helped Tom and Andre, our friendly neighbor, to put in a truly state of the art earth system.

On Wednesday, Sarah, an ecology student at Unitec came out for her practicum work.  This was Sarah’s third visit to CUE Haven and this time she spent the day working in the nursery, potting up native tree seedlings.  The seedlings were still in their planting trays and needed to be moved to larger pots to give them room to grow.

We want to thank Sarah for her many contributions to CUE Haven during her practicum and wish her all the best with her studies.

Before the team finished up on Friday, Mahrukh made a Pavlova and it served as a birthday cake for Stepanie and Tamanja.  The group sang Happy Birthday in English, German and Flemish!

There was a bit of not so good news.  Early in the week, Marius came down with a virus and had to leave us.  He was an enthusiastic volunteer and a pleasure to have on the team and we missed him.  We hope he has a quick recovery and can come back to see us again.

At the end of the week we tallied up the empty pots and calculated that the team had planted a little over 2,500 trees. 

We want to thank everyone for their efforts and we hope you will come back in the years to come to see how your trees have grown.

zz

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