Youth-led planting day enhances Waimakariri River Regional Park

Members of our Youth Rōpū recently held a successful planting event in Waimakariri River Regional Park. A group of 24 people, including Youth Rōpū members, Environment Canterbury staff and members of the public, planted 418 native trees in part of Templars Island known as ‘The Sanctuary,’ then celebrated the achievement with a barbecue lunch.

A special spot in North Canterbury

Deputy Chair of the Youth Rōpū, Ruby Gill-Clifford, led the event. A former Rangiora High School student who now studies environmental science and biochemistry at the University of Canterbury, Ruby wanted to show others a special spot in North Canterbury.

“Lots of the people I meet in Christchurch have never been out this way before. People who came to the planting have been telling me they can't wait to bring their friends and whānau back to explore more,” said Ruby.

About the Youth Rōpū 

The Youth Rōpū is a group of 16 enthusiastic young people aged 14 to 24. They regularly meet with Environment Canterbury councillors to share a youth perspective on environmental issues. Breeana Thomson, an Environment Canterbury employee who attended the planting day, was impressed by the Youth Rōpū members who ran the event.

“It’s reassuring to know there are awesome young people out there that are really dedicated to our region and environment,” said Breeana.

Environment canterbury staff helping out with planting at Waimakariri River Regional Park

Planting to increase biodiversity 

The Sanctuary is part of the Templars Island area of Waimakariri River Regional Park and is the last remaining sizeable freshwater wetland in the lower Waimakariri River. More than 40 native plant species have been observed in the area.

To enhance the biodiversity of the area, the Youth Rōpū-led group planted a number of native species, including kahikatea, kōwhai, kōhūhū/black matipo, makomako/wineberry, mahōe/whiteywood, and tī kōuka/cabbage tree.

Join our next planting day

Come and join a joint Environment Canterbury and Forest and Bird planting event at The Sanctuary on Saturday, September 24, from 10am until noon. Enjoy a cuppa and baking afterwards to thank you for your work. Find out more details on the Forest & Bird website