This morning I thoroughly enjoyed hosting about 100 lively children (aged 7-9) from Island Bay School at Manawa Karioi. They walked over from school and came with 3 teachers and about 8 parents.
They were split into 2 group and while I talked to the first group the others went walking in small groups keeping their eyes and ears open for what was around them - when they came back I heard excited stories about a dead possum in a tree, a dead rat about 20cm long, yucky worms. Then they swapped over and I talked to the ones who had been out walking.
When I talked to the groups I told them about what we are doing at Manawa Karioi (planting, weed control, tracks/signs), why we are doing it, the history of the project (and Bruce's key role in it and the Marae), why it is called Manawa Karioi, the difference between pioneer species and climax species and how we are now moving to concentrate on the latter, the birds that we see at Manawa Karioi now, and the reptiles/insects/soil beasties that also live there. I emphasised that the tracks are for everyone to use and invited everyone to come back with their families if they like walking. Several of the children told me that they had been to Manawa Karioi before; and several told me that they have a forest at home.
I ended my talk by asking them what they thought Manawa Karioi would look like if they came back in 20 years time.
I then demonstrated to both of the large groups how we plant a tree and helped some of the children to plant a further 4 trees.
It was a beautiful, calm, sunny morning and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. As they left they gave us a very generous koha of $150.00.
Written by Chris Liversey
A tree enthusiast and an ex-resident of Island Bay. Vanessa brings her digital skills to the volunteer team at Manawa Karioi - one of the oldest reforestation projects in Wellington.
With over 17 years experience volunteering with Manawa Karioi, Ross has a detailed knowledge of the project.
Paul Blaschke is an environmental consultant and part-time university lecturer. He loves living and working in Wellington’s southern suburbs, whether in the Owhiro catchment, the Town Belt near his home, or on the slopes at Manawa Karioi.
Chris and his partner and their 3 children were at the dawn planting of the first tree in 1991. He has maintained his involvement in the project ever since and gets great satisfaction now from seeing how much the trees have grown and how the associated native ecosystems have developed over those 26 years. Chris emphasises that providing tracks to enable the public to enjoy Manawa Karioi, and carbon sequestration, are both integral parts of the project.