4 Jun 2020

Families, school groups and local communities are branching out across Christchurch for Arbor Day.

Christchurch City Council Parks staff have worked with local communities to organise plantings at popular spots around the city, starting with Papanui Bush on 5 June.

School students are also digging in, growing native seeds and planting trees under the guidance of the Eco-Action Nursery Trust.

Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board Chairperson Emma Norrish says the Board members will be out in force on Friday “as part of our long-standing commitment to greening our area”.

“We know that by nurturing our environment through targeted tree planting that we can improve the overall well-being of our community and help mitigate climate change,” Ms Norrish says.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to make a real difference by helping to prevent soil erosion, provide shade and shelter and cut pollution.

“Importantly, we are also helping to re-establish what existed in the area hundreds of years ago.”

On Saturday, plantings have also been organised for Halswell Quarry and Bowenvale Reserve in the Port Hills.

On Sunday, the focus will switch to the South New Brighton Domain and QEII Park.

Small local groups will also be chipping in at Laura Kent Reserve in Woolston and Calder Green Reserve in Ferrymead over the weekend.

Arbor Day promotes the preservation and planting of trees, encouraging people to protect their local environment.

Schools can also get involved with local plantings with support from the Eco-Action Nursery Trust.

The trust “eco-sources” native plant seeds from the Ōruapaeroa/Travis Wetland, with plants adapted to their local environment. Student volunteers at local schools then “grow” the seeds in preparation for planting along the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor.

Trust member David Newton says that the trust “gives native trees to schools so students can help grow them and, in doing so, put into practice ideas of environment regeneration, climate change mitigation and community volunteering”.

“The potting up and then planting out of their own trees helps counter their feelings of helplessness against such huge global challenges,” he says.

“In making their own effort, they enhance their own well-being as well as that of society.”

People can register for Arbor Day activities via the Council website to help with contact tracing. Just bring your own gardening gloves and spade, if possible.

* The photo was taken prior to the lockdown period.