At the peak of the spring planting season, with rain fresh on the soil, a team of 40+ strong volunteers turned up to Lake Hayes last Saturday afternoon to wield a shovel and plant some beautiful native trees.

The Wakatipu Reforestation Trust was supporting a community planting day lead by Queenstown Green Cabs, as part of Green Cabs' effort to offset their environmental impact. A site was chosen on Department of Conservation land next to the Lake Hayes Trail, 5 minutes walk from Bendemeer Bay. This area near Lake Hayes would once have been forested in dry woodland, rich in Kowhai before humans arrived in Aotearoa, New Zealand. DOC had prepared the site ready for planting and Martin from Green Cabs had the BBQ ready to be fired up, so the team got stuck in.

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The perfect remedy to a week in the office, is to be on the end of a shovel digging holes. With 240 holes dug, trees planted, mulch spread around each plant to keep the weeds down, rabbit proof netting placed around each plant, the last job was for the team to collaborate on a human chain of buckets up from the lake up to water-in all the newly planted trees! What did they plant? Kowhai, Pittosporums, Coprosmas, Ribbonwood, Broadleaf and Tree Daisies just to name a few. 

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It was an impressive effort, and the first time many of the volunteers had been to a planting day, and it was a great opportunity to meet new like minded people and get stuck in on a worthy community project. A cold beer and a BBQ in the sun was the perfect way to end the days planting.  

Next Saturday we have our last spring planting and will be planting at Peace Park on the Frankton waterfront from 9am - 12noon, Saturday October 15th, access is from Boyes Crescent. All welcome, see you there!

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The Wakatipu Reforestation Trust holds approximately six volunteer community planting days each spring and autumn. They also support a number of businesses (like Green Cabs) and other community organisations to run their own native planting days. They have a community nursery located at Jardine Park, Kelvin Heights and volunteers are welcome to come and help out weekly on Wednesday mornings and evenings. All the details are listed on their Facebook page, or contact them on volunteer@wtqt.org.nz for more information.

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