It’s set to be the biggest planting season yet for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor (OARC) with thirty community days in the calendar.

The native planting season is now underway until the end of August at the 602-hectare regeneration area.

Residential Red Zone Manager Dave Little says there are two sites in particular that are getting some extra attention this season.

“We’ll be putting a focus on Waikākāriki Horseshoe Lake between Goodman Street and New Brighton Road as well as the area around Belair Close - alongside Corser Stream for the 2024 season.

“Waikākāriki Horseshoe Lake was a site of a significant settlement called Te Oranga. A tributary to the Ōtākaro, Waikākāriki was rich in wildlife and natural resources and was a significant site for mahinga kai.”

The second site, Belair Close, sits just on the edge of the area known as Ōruapaeroa Travis Wetland, beside Corser Stream.

“This is opposite the six-year-old restoration project managed by Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park, which means it’s a great way to see what a planting project might look like after six years,” Mr Little says.

The red zone ranger team will be leading many of this year’s planting days in collaboration with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ).

CVNZ are supported by the Christchurch City Council’s Sustainability Fund, aiming to get 11,000 native trees and shrubs in the ground in the Avon Regeneration area in 2024, and 11,000 in 2025.

“The OARC area is three-and-a-half times larger than Hagley Park, so this is a huge project,” Mr Little says.

“Community organisations and volunteers play a vital role in delivering the Regeneration Plan for this area, so a big thank you to CVNZ as well as our other key planting partners - Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park, Avon-Ōtākaro Network and Eco-Action Nursery Trust - for all their efforts in this space.

“We’re also so grateful of those members of the public who get stuck in and involved each year - We’re always keen for more to get involved!”

Maintenance days are held in the months following planting season where the planted areas are weeded and mulched.

See the full schedule for 2024 Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor volunteer days.

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