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Conservation Volunteers–January 7-11, 2013

January 11, 2013

The new year got off to a great start as a team of hard working volunteers braved heat and humidity to help us out with several important projects.

The team was led by Bruce Eade, who had led one of the very first CVNZ teams to visit CUE Haven back in 2008!  The group consisted of Rini from Indonesia, Anna and Lucia from Germany, Manon from France, Alastair (originally from South Africa but now a New Zealander) and Yvonne from New Zealand.  The CVNZ team was sponsored by Fonterra through their Catchment Care Program.

1-Rini, Yvonne, Lucia, Anna, Alastair, Manon, Bruce

The team arrived on Monday morning and after introductions, orientation and lunch, they got to work in the nursery.

Matt from Scrub Growers Ltd had delivered a supply of over 1,000 seedlings that morning – a mixture of kauri, kahikatea, totara, puriri, titoki, taraire, nikau, kowhai.  The seedlings were acquired with the help of a grant from the Auckland Council Rodney Environmental Education Fund.

All these little seedlings needed to be replanted into larger containers and these plants will eventually be used as canopy plants when they grow bigger.

Tom briefed the group on the different plants we would be potting and on how to do the potting.

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Because it was very hot and sunny all week, the group typically spent afternoons in the nursery to stay out of the sun.

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We kept the team well supplied with potting mix from the Kaipara Coast Plant Centre. Sarah thanks for your help with loading the ute!

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And Alastair and Matt (from Scrub Growers Ltd) helped Tom unload the heavy bags back at the nursery.

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And over the next few days the team managed to get all of the seedlings potted up. These seedlings will be transplanted into bigger bags later this year.

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In addition to the seedlings, we also had a few wetland plants left over from last year’s planting season.  They were large enough to plant in the field and, even though it is summer, it is still possible to plant in the wetlands.  The group spent two mornings planting flaxes around the ponds and stream.

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Summer may not be the planting season at CUE Haven, but it is definitely weed season.  Our boundary fences have been electrified to keep the neighbours’ cows from paying us a visit.  Weeds growing up on the hot wire can short out the fence and the team walked the fence line and trimmed away any vegetation that had grown up around the wire.

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This summer we are going to be extending the walking track that was built last year and the team made the first pass through the track to clear away vegetation and to establish the grade to determine where benching and steps will be required.  It was hard work, but the track will be something that visitors will enjoy for many years to come.

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This week involved a lot of hard work but the team was really enthusiastic and dedicated. The team even had lunches in the field!

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We’d like to thank Auckland Council, Fonterra and CVNZ for their contributions to the CUE Haven Restoration project.  And an extra big thank you to the team for all their hard work.  We really appreciate your efforts and we hope you will come back to visit and walk the finished track some day!

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