Macpac Staff recently took part in a tree planting exercise on Christchurch’s Port Hills as part of the Christchurch City Council’s Port Hills Restoration programme.
In an area suffering the effects of deforestation, the group made a real difference – planting 135 native seedlings that in 100 years will mature into a forest.
The weather forecast indicated a sunny week ahead – and the day of the tree planting exercise was no exception.
The group of 15 staff piled into several cars and made their way to the end of Bowenvale Ave where they were met by a Park Ranger who explained the afternoon ahead. The ranger lead the way as the group started on the road track to collect their shovels, gloves and hedge trimmers.
The track soon faded off, and the group found themselves surrounded by recently planted Kanuka for the next hour, making their way around the hill until they finally arrived in Hidden Valley – the planting area.
“We instantly noticed how peaceful it was in the valley. There was no wind, the sun kept us warm, and we could hear all the birds chirping around us. Not a bad day at the office,” says Graphic Designer, Angela Powell.
The team got straight into work – 135 seedlings were dotted around the area, made up of a variety of different native trees and flaxes. A small hole needed to be dug for each seedling, and once it was placed in the soil, cardboard was placed around the base which was then covered with grasses to keep the moisture in. To protect the seedlings from hares and other wildlife, mesh supported by bamboo stakes was fixed around each one.
The seedlings will eventually grow into large trees with root systems that will help to protect streams in the areas from the run-off from recreational activities such as four wheel driving and mountain biking.
“We were told that in 100 years’ time, the area would be covered in native trees to form a forest. While we will may never see this in our lifetimes, it’s nice to know that future generations and the Port Hills environment will benefit from our planting day,” says Angela.
Some of the group even came away feeling inspired to build on the experience in their own gardens.
“Overall it was a really great day with my colleagues doing something useful for our city. The experience has definitely given me some thoughts about my own garden. Once the weather gets better, I’ll be straight out into my backyard to have a tidy up – and I’d love to get a vege garden in there,” says Angela.
Macpac staff are passionate about helping the environment, and plan on making planting days a regular activity – a great team building exercise, and a welcome contribution to the local environment.
“Macpac replanted an area in the Port Hills called Dry Bush from 2000 to 2004. Having seen this area turn from dry grassland into this amazing bush in a decade will give you an idea of what Hidden Valley can look like in just a short time. It is great that this is on our doorstep, we can improve the area and also have access to it and come back to see the progress,” says Nonny Caro from Macpac’s Green Initiative Team.