Posted on November 30, 2017
What is the Million Tree program all about?
The Million Tree program is an initiative launched by Auckland Council Mayor Phil Goff on 6 June 2017. The program proposes to green Auckland by planting 1,000,000 trees, shrubs and grasses across the region over three years.
Along with greening the City and providing carbon sinks to offset greenhouse gases, the Million Tree program will also help prevent siltation of Auckland’s harbours and waterways by planting along streams and coastal areas, and improve living environments.
Who is involved?
Planting one million trees, shrubs and grasses will take an enormous effort from many people and organizations. Auckland Council has and continues to work closely with the Department of Corrections, Trees That Count and various other volunteer groups to achieve their goal. Along with providing nursery space in their prisons for plant stock, the Department of Corrections also provides labour through their community offender services for site preparation, plant implementation and maintenance. Corrections Northern Regional Commissioner Jeanette Burns says, “We are pleased that offenders can be involved in this valuable project and give something back to the community”.
How is Kauri Park Nursery involved?
Kauri Park has worked alongside Auckland Council on planting completed this year at the Tapapakanga site. This included just under 40,000 plants made up of Titoki, Karamu, Cabbage Tree, Manuka, Mahoe, Pohutakawa, Harakeke, Totara and Carex grasses.
Work on this site began in mid September. Half way through the project, one of the team discovered an area on the site that looked like the remains of an ancient Maori Pa. After an archeologist report confirmed that this was the case, planting areas were revised and work recommenced.
Kauri Park chose to use a 0.5L grade for the project’s plants. This is a cost-effective grade (helping work within the project’s budget) but still offers strong, hardy plants that have a high survival rate. At a 7 week post-planting inspection, the plants grown had put on around 20cm of new growth, with plant mortalities almost zero. This was an amazing result.
What has been completed in 2017?
To date, the Auckland Council has planted a total of 170,000 plants over a variety of community projects in the Auckland region. These include plantings at Atiu Creek, Northcote, North West Wild Link, Whau River Project, Opanuku Streak, Oakley Creek, Mangemangeroa, Waitawa, Tapapakanga and Puhinui Stream. The Council aims for another 350,000 plants to be planted in 2018 which will take them over half way to their ambiguous goal.