Thousands Of Trees Being Saved On Mt Victoria

Thousands Of Trees Being Saved On Mt Victoria

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Wellington
City Deputy Mayor Sarah Free with John Grieve, Event
Director, Sport Wellington and Scott Gallacher, General
Manager Metlink

29 October
2020

Today, Deputy Mayor, Sarah Free,
Wellington City Council, along with volunteers from Sport
Wellington and its supporters, spent the afternoon on Mt
Victoria, tree releasing. Efforts to plant native trees in
the greater Wellington region have increased significantly
over the past few years; but without ongoing care, many of
these trees struggle to make it to maturity – which is why
tree releasing is so important.

Natalie Jones, from
Conservation Volunteers NZ, estimates that 50% of native
trees planted may die without ongoing care. In sites that
have weeds such as blackberry and honeysuckle, you could
lose all the trees if you allow them to revert to these
weeds. “People love tree planting, everyone gets a lot of
satisfaction of seeing hundreds of trees potentially planted
in a day,” she says. “A lot of businesses and
organisations want to reduce their carbon output by tree
planting, but those trees won’t survive if we don’t come
and care for them. That means coming back and removing long
grasses and weeds that compete for sunlight, water and
nutrients.”

During the spring and summer months,
Conservation Volunteers NZ facilitate tree releasing days
for the community to get involved in helping our native
trees to survive.

“It’s called releasing because
you’re releasing the trees from being smothered by the
grasses and weeds that grow up around them,” Jones says.
“It’s about making sure the young trees survive their
first 5-10 years in the ground while they are
establishing.”

A partnership between Conservation
Volunteers NZ and Brendan Foot Supersite Round the Bays
means that every person who registers to participate in the
2020 fun/run event will automatically adopt a tree that has
been planted along the town belt in Mount Victoria.
Participants will then be able to take part in Community
Releasing Days and care for the Round the Bays
trees.

“Many Wellington lunchtime runs take in parts
of Mr Victoria, enjoying the bush and earning spectacular
views including over the Round the Bays course,” says
Wellington City Deputy Mayor Sarah Free. “As a keen runner
and conservationist, I am delighted that Wellington’s
largest running event will now contribute to our ongoing,
world leading, environmental restoration journey. This
journey we should all be involved in whether it is trapping,
planting, weeding, clean ups, or getting involved in one of
our 140 reserve restoration groups.”

To highlight
the importance of nurturing our native trees, Deputy Mayor
Free, Metlink’s General Manager Scott Gallacher and staff
from Sport Wellington and the Councils all mucked in to
support Conservation Volunteers NZ with their first tree
releasing day of the season at Charles Plimmer Park in Mt.
Victoria on Thursday 29 October.

“The Metlink team
is really excited to get into our gumboots to help with the
Adopt a Tree releasing days in Mount Victoria, where we’ll
nurture the trees that keep our city beautiful, improve our
air quality and offset carbon emissions,” says Scott
Gallacher, General manager of Metlink.

A partnership
between Greater Wellington Regional Council and Brendan Foot
Supersite Round the Bays also means free transport will be
available to participants in order to reduce barriers to
participation and encourage people to get into the city in a
carbon-friendly way.

“Metlink is here for whānau
and the community to provide sustainable, safe and
accessible means of transport,” Gallacher said. “We want
to help the region get around in greener ways, and public
transport is a great way to reduce congestion on our roads
and carbon emissions.”

These partnerships are part
of Sport Wellington’s sustainable event policy and
commitment to transforming Round the Bays to a zero-waste
and zero-carbon event by 2025.

“As organisers of
Brendan Foot Supersite Round the Bays, Sport Wellington are
delighted to be working on a range of initiatives that
promote the importance of caring for our environment,”
says Event Director John Grieve. “The ‘Adopt a Tree’
project will enable thousands of native trees to flourish in
the backdrop for our iconic course around the bays. It is a
great example of the positive impact the event makes on our
communities, whilst helping us achieve our ambitious
zero-waste and zero-carbon goals. Bringing these ideas to
life are only possible through working in partnership with a
range of organisations, whose common goal is to find
sustainable solutions to the ecological challenges we
face”

Earlybird registrations for Brendan Foot
Supersite Round the Bays open on November 5th. More details
about the ‘Adopt a Tree’ initiative and the work of
Conservation Volunteers New Zealand can be found at www.wellingtonroundthebays.co.nz/adopt-a-tree.

“People
often don’t know about us, once they find out about what
we do and how easy we make it to get involved, people love
it,” Natalie Jones from Conservation Volunteers New
Zealand says. “We take care of everything, we can arrange
transport to and from the sites, we provide the tools, the
gloves, the training…we really try to break down barriers
to
participation.”

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