TOSSI – Planting underway

It’s planting season. Each year we give the plants grown in the Tāwharanui nursery new homes in the ground around the park. By far the largest number are planted during public planting days. This year, public planting days will see the planting of approximately 15,000 plants. Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Society (TOSSI) and Auckland Council co-host the three public days on the first Sunday of June, July and August at the Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary. We have had a great start to these with the recent June planting achieving 5217 plants in the ground. We were very fortunate to have 168 keen volunteers turn up on the day. Thanks. Among them were 54 children of varying ages. Admittedly, some of the very young may have not achieved their share of the planting effort, but they did have a lot of fun. Some children turned up because they were doing school-initiated community service. It’s great to see schools encouraging their students to get out there and support their communities. It’s heartening to see so many kids in the fresh air and sunshine when so many would accuse the youth of today of doing nothing but sitting around staring at small screens. We were also fortunate to have such great weather. During the night, we had heavy rain, but from 8am, when we turned up at Tāwharanui, there was nothing but sunshine and a light breeze. I’m sure that helped many to decide to get out and help.

The planting activity started on Friday for a small team of us who needed to get the plants out to the site. We were grateful to a team of 20 from the Fulton Hogan contracting team. They turned up with a great attitude and plenty of enthusiasm. With their help, the job was completed before lunchtime. Thanks. Fulton Hogan are the national partner of the Takahē Recovery Programme. It’s great to see them supporting not only financially, but also physically.

Not all planting is done on public planting days. During the planting season, volunteers from the TOSSI nursery team, schools and corporates will plant another 3500 plants into other areas of the park. It is marvellous to visit previous planting sites and see the successful growth. Having first planted at Tāwharanui only four years ago, I am amazed that the takahē are using that planting site as their habitat.

Trees at another site from three years ago are two metres tall and looking great. Even last year’s Slip Gully site, while still a little scrubby, has some great specimens that are growing well in their new home. You can be part of this success story by turning up to the July or August planting days. Details are in the advertisement on page 35 or on our website

Roger Grove, Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Society