Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust
Award Category: Waikato
The Mangaiti Gully Restoration Group is a group of residents committed to restoring the Mangaiti Park gully area back to a native ecosystem. The group have been restoring an area of gully since 2010. The gully is part of the larger Kirikiriroa gully that meanders through rural land into the city and through to the Waikato River. The area the group are focusing on is approximately 1.5 hectares of weedy gully. The stream areas were initially dominated with willow trees as the canopy with a large amount of honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), privet (Ligustrum sinense), woolly nightshade (Solanum mauritianum) , blackberry and many other invasive weeds interwoven throughout the site. The group have removed a significant amount of these weeds by hand with some support from Hamilton City Council. The willow canopy along the stream has been left in the short term with the group concentrating on sub canopy planting and exposed areas of open bank once weeds are under control.
As we all know weeds don t define boundaries so they have talked to private property owners about weed control and helped them when they can, however the main focus is on the park area. The group meets every Wednesday for 3 hours with regular 7-10 volunteers. The group have also helped construct unique tracks which have allowed better access to the gully areas so that weeds can be removed more efficiently and checked for re-growth and subsequent control.
They have regular visits from the local schools and kindergarten/child care facilities to learn about the restoration. The group promotes the removal of invasive weeds with practical examples of planting suitable native plants to replace them. These native plants are grown at their small nursery on site.
The group are another good example of a small community initiative that is taking action on the ground. If there were more people as committed as these guys we would be winning the War on Weeds !
See link http://gullyrestoration.blogspot.co.nz