Caring for the environment  |  8 Jan 2019

The hard work of Park Rangers who have helped regenerate native bush after the Port Hills fires has been recognised with a community award.

Christchurch City Council’s Port Hills and Banks Peninsula Regional Park Rangers team has been given The Sign of the Packhorse Community Award by the Cashmere/Port Hills Community and Business Association.

Christchurch City Council's award-winning Regional Park Rangers.

Christchurch City Council's award-winning Regional Park Rangers.

It acknowledges the team who are based at Victoria Park and “working tirelessly on the Port Hills”.

The Association presents five Community and Business awards each year based on community nominations.

Council Regional Parks Manager Kay Holder says the award is well-deserved recognition for the team of 17 rangers, including six seasonal staff helping with the summer peak workload.

“I think the restoration planting work that’s been carried out by rangers since the Port Hills fires is an important factor in why the Association has presented us with this award.

"It’s lovely to get recognition and appreciation for the work the team has done this year and over the past few years.”

The Port Hills wildfires began on 13 February 2017 and at their height covered an area of more than 1600 hectares.

The fires burnt into reserve areas on the Port Hills and destroyed 6500 trees that had been planted by volunteers over the past decade. Since the fires Council Park Rangers have spearheaded a massive replanting effort on Council reserve land.

Ms Holder says the rangers’ workload is wide and varied. “There’s the re-vegetation planting work, weed management, a biodiversity component with wildlife management and predator trapping, and maintaining tracks and facilities in recreation areas like the Summit Rd, Sign of the Kiwi, Halswell Quarry, and Victoria Park.

“Rangers also work closely with community groups on projects such as clearing and creating tracks. Thousands of hours of volunteer work on the Port Hills, often during weekends, are facilitated by our rangers.”

Cashmere/Port Hills Community and Business Association Managing Director Leta Quartermain says the rangers do a “marvellous job” and they’ve certainly earned their award. “The nominations came in from the community and people really appreciate the good work the Regional Park Rangers are doing, especially in Victoria Park and on the Port Hills which so many people use for recreation.”