Community & Environment

Event alert: Nature in the City

Image of child with a small spade planting a seedling in Mangaiti Gully

Hamilton City Council has an ambitious goal – to restore Hamilton’s native vegetation cover from just 2% to 10% by 2050. That means planting a lot of trees.

The thirty-year Nature in the City programme kicks off on Friday 13 May, with the launch of the first project restoring Donny Park/Kukutaaruhe Gully. Council invites Hamiltonians to come along to the Ground Breaking celebration event, plant some trees and learn more about the vision for a green, biodiverse city.

The event begins at 10am on Friday 13 May, and will include speeches, a blessing, morning tea and plenty of tree planting.

“We are thrilled to kick off the Nature in the City programme with this event” said Councillor Sarah Thomson, Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee.

“I want to acknowledge that while this event marks the start of our restoration project, this is not the first piece of restoration work in Kukutaaruhe Gully.

There have been some fantastic community planting initiatives in the gully already, including some amazing mahi by the Fairfield Project.”

Local hapuu Ngaati Wairere is a key partner in the five-year restoration project, supporting Council by providing guidance and maatauranga Maaori. The name of the gully, Kukutaaruhe, stems from the hapuu’s history.

The name itself depicts the flight of the Kuku otherwise known as the Kereru, Kukupa or Native Wood Pigeon.

The name reflects not only the observation of the Kuku’s flight, but also the hapuu matauranga knowledge of seasons, migration patterns, native fauna and flora patterns, the river/stream ecology as well as weather movement.

The koorero from Ngaati Wairere says the combination of all this matauranga provided the opportunity to plan, forecast and execute a management strategy taking into account hapuu/community needs, ecological sustainability, shared resources and successive generations.

Restoring native vegetation is important to ensure thriving biodiversity, and essential to build Hamilton’s resilience to climate change.

“When we’re doing restorative planting, it’s critical that we plant the right species for the area, and consider the whole ecosystem” said Matt Vare, Nature in the City Programme Manager.

“We eco-source all our seeds to make sure that we do this effectively. That means we collect seeds from mature trees across Hamilton, nurture them in our nurseries, and then plant them out again as seedlings. So, we’re making sure that the plants are adapted to our specific climate and giving nature a helping hand.”

The Programme also recognises the importance of green spaces for people’s wellbeing.

“We want to make sure every Hamiltonian can go out and connect with nature somewhere close to home” said Vare. “Part of the restoration work in Donny Park will include creating new pathways for people to explore.”

Learn more about Nature in the City 

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