Volunteers Plant Over 2000 Trees at Ngā Puna Wai

On Sunday 4 September, 200 volunteers from Ngā Puna Wai’s partner sports and the local community donned their gardening gloves, grabbed their shovels, and connected as they came together at the sports hub to plant over 2000 trees onsite.

All in the name of finding a solution and ensuring the facility continues to improve and remain one of the best sports facilities in Aotearoa.

Since the opening of the sports hub in October 2018, hundreds of thousands of people have come through the gates, making the most of the world class facilities for club sport and community day to day use, as well as national, regional, and major international sporting events.

Given that the facility has only been open for four years, initial native plantings and landscaped areas within the facility are still being established and have at times, struggled with windy and dry conditions not suited to native plants, however an ongoing maintenance plan is in place and managed by the Parks team at the Christchurch City Council to help these areas thrive.

Existing native and oak plantings surrounding the boundary of Ngā Puna Wai have provided limited wind protection and shelter. To address this, the Parks team from the Christchurch City Council developed a further site-wide Planting Plan, and together with the Partnership and Activation Manager at Ngā Puna Wai, Katrina Mansfield enlisted the help of the sporting partners - Athletics, Hockey, Tennis and Rugby League to establish a shelter belt of trees surrounding the facility to improve the usability and function.

“Wind has at times, been an issue for the sporting partners and other users since the opening of Ngā Puna Wai, and the Christchurch City Council Parks team have listened and responded to the issue where possible.

“The Christchurch City Council Parks team, based at Ngā Puna Wai, engaged landscape architects to create a Landscape Management Plan and from this and the wind assessments, a proposal for the shelter belts for the facility was created and supported by the sporting partners operating onsite,” says Dan Hooper, Christchurch City Council Parks Team Leader for Ngā Puna Wai.

Specific trees and plants were selected for the shelter belt based on certain parameters that will allow them to flourish. All plants had to be evergreen, fast growing, dense to medium density and suited to the Canterbury climate and the soil conditions at Ngā Puna Wai. Also taken into consideration were things such as the impact on shading and the maintenance required.  For this reason, the following trees were selected - Ovens Cypress, Coastal Redwoods, European Hornbeams, Pin Oaks and Tarata/Lemonwoods and positioned in the designated places for planting

On a crisp and sunny Father’s Day morning, the keen planters of all ages got to work planting over 2000 trees, as well as weeding and relocating flax bushes, on the existing ring road behind the community and Rugby League fields, behind the Tennis courts, up on the Athletics embankment and down the boulevard.

“As the saying goes, ‘many hands make light work,’ so having the numbers turn up on the day was fantastic and meant we were all done by noon and could enjoy a much-deserved sausage sizzle afterwards. We look forward to seeing the impact of the plantings for years to come,” says Mansfield.  A huge thank you from the CCC Parks team to all those that turned up to help out on Sunday, the response was fantastic and much appreciated!

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Article added: Thursday 08 September 2022