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Published: 2001-07-19 00:00:00

A group of Environment Waikato staff spent their lunch break hard at work cleaning up their own backyard on the Waikato riverbank this week.

The staff, including programme managers and field workers, got their hands dirty – and most other parts – pulling weeds and replanting the bank below their Hamilton East building with natives as part of a regular effort to rid the bank of plant pests and create an area of garden next to public walkways.

Organiser, biosecurity officer Phillip Brown, said the work was done a couple of times a year to ensure regenerating weeds did not get a foothold. The clean-up had an enthusiastic response from frequently desk-bound staff who enjoyed improving their own environment.

He had raised many of the native seedlings himself and the bank was beginning to look a great deal better following initial replanting several months ago.