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Published: 2008-07-18 00:00:00

Te Awamutu residents are invited to grab their gumboots, spades and raincoats and plant trees beside the Mangapiko Stream at Eileen Montefiore Reserve on July 23.

Environment Waikato, Waipa District Council and Honda New Zealand are supporting the planting day, hosted by the Lower Mangapiko Stream Care Group.

It will kick off at 10.30am at the corner of Factory Rd and Racecourse Rd, Te Awamutu.

“The trees will improve habitat for native plants and animals, stabilise the stream banks to reduce erosion and sediment pollution, and help to protect the stream’s water quality,” said Environment Waikato King Country councillor Andra Neeley, who is attending.

“I applaud the efforts of the local farmers in the care group, who are obviously passionate about looking after the environment.  The whole community will benefit from the time and effort they’ve invested in this project.”

Plants for next Wednesday have been donated by Honda New Zealand, which buys 10 native trees for every new car it sells and distributes them to community groups in this region through Environment Waikato.

Environment Waikato and Waipa District Council councillors will be helping with the planting day, and Te Awamutu College students will also helping and supplying grasses grown in their school nursery.

Afterwards there will be a barbecue and refreshments provided by Ingham Honda Te Awamutu, Magills Meats and Environment Waikato.

The event is the first of the planting season for the Lower Mangapiko Stream Care Group.

Environment Waikato is working with the care group to restore the Mangapiko Stream by fencing it off from stock and planting native trees along the banks. 

Following next week’s planting day, about 12,000 trees and shrubs, funded by Fonterra, will be planted on private properties over the next few months.

“Fonterra staff helped with planting days on farms last year and will be helping again this year,” Lower Mangapiko Stream Care Group secretary Betsy Bryant said.

“They feel it’s a great project to be associated with and a great team building opportunity.”

Mrs Bryant was keen to hear from any other businesses that would like to take part in planting days and encouraged them to contact the group.

Plantings will be carried out on 10 properties this year and further weed clearing, fencing and planting work is planned for this summer and next year.

“About 25,000 natives will have been planted along the banks of the Mangapiko Stream and its tributaries in the first three years of the project,” Mrs Bryant said.

For more information about the planting day or the care group, please call Betsy Bryant on (07) 871 8989.