It was a huge success when the Otamatea Weed Control Group, Otamatea HarbourCare, Pest Free
Peninsulas and Paparoa Lions combined forces for a planting day at Jacque and Jerome’s last month.
The 35 volunteers pitched in and got nearly 1,500 plants in the ground in less than three hours. This
was followed by an instructive walk through their bush restoration project and food forest. Shaun
Holland gave us a talk about trapping those pesky animal pests, and Mayor Jake and Justine arrived
in time for the introductions and the kai.
What was noticeable to me was the number of people new to the area who had decided to come
along for the day. I take this as a gesture of their desire to be part of our community. Speaking for
Otamatea HarbourCare, I know we just have to have at least one more community planting day this
year. We have about 25,000 plants in the nursery to distribute but not every site meets our criteria
or suits holding such an event. One thing I have learnt from being on the board of Volunteering
Northland is that research indicates that people who get involved in volunteering live happier,
healthier and longer lives. But don’t take my word for it – try it for yourself if you haven’t already.
There are plenty of groups in this area covering a wide range of interests.