Green ‘S’ Force–9 November 2013
The New Zealand branch of the Shah Satnam Ji Green “S” Welfare Force made a major contribution to CUE Haven and thanks to all their efforts we exceeded our planting goal this year. We have become good friends with the group and today some of them came out to help work on a boardwalk walking track we are building through the wetlands.
The walking track will be a great addition to our restoration project. It will give us access to an area of the property that is very difficult to get into and to move around in because it is very swampy. The boardwalk will enable us to get access to plant more trees in this area and will enable future visitors to enjoy the wetlands easily.
Aman, Ankush, Bharpoor, Dalveer, Pooja, Ranjit, Simarpreet, Suhas and Veerpal arrived about nine. After morning tea, and booting up in waterproof gumboots, the team set off to the work area.
Before we started work, the team planted a ceremonial tree near the start of the boardwalk. The Green ‘S’ Force team has assisted with planting trees at numerous conservation projects throughout the North Island and last night the group received an award from the Keep Waitakere Beautiful organisation to recognise their conservation efforts in the Whau catchment area of west Auckland. At the award ceremony they were given a Kohuhu (pittosporum) tree and they chose to plant the tree at CUE Haven. Ankush, who just arrived in New Zealand the day before, planted the tree on behalf of the team.
Congratulations Green ‘S’ Force on your well-deserved award and we thank you for planting the award tree at CUE Haven. Your much valued conservation efforts are having a very positive impact on our planet and may you continue to plant many many more trees!
The track work today involved three very different tasks.
First we had to cut and build steps from the road down to the wetland area. It is steep and slippery. The work involved figuring out where to put the steps and then digging them out.
Once the steps were formed, it was necessary to support them with wood planks and stakes. The group took turns fitting in and securing the planks.
We then filled in the steps with soil and later on we will cover the soil with gravel to make sure that the surface is safe for future visitors.
The next task involved blazing a trail through the wetlands where the boardwalk will go. The entire wetland area is covered with grasses and other vegetation and it was necessary to clear it out down to the ground so that we can install the boardwalk sections and secure them in place. It is very difficult work because the vegetation is thick and the ground is uneven and wet.
The team attacked the job with spades, choppers, mattocks and rakes and cleared a substantial section of new track, working their way around the kahikatea trees planted as memorials by members of the community.
The next task involved building and installing boardwalk sections in a previously cleared area of track.
We brought the timber down to the work area and one group assembled the box frames for the boardwalk sections while another group nailed in the top planks.
The job was very challenging because the boardwalk is curved and therefore the top planks have to be fitted carefully. The team worked together very well and came up with several innovative and creative ideas on how to make the track sections fit together properly.
The team then broke for a late lunch and refreshing snacks.
In just a few hours the team made a major contribution to the wetland board walk. Future volunteer groups will continue the work and the wetland track will give us the ability to plant and enjoy this area.
Our heartfelt thanks the Green ‘S’ Force for all their hard work today and their continuing efforts with our restoration project. We look forward to having you back in 2014!!