Millionth plant by Coast Care

By Sonya Bateson

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Helping Coast Care plant the one-millionth dune plant in Mount Maunganui was rewarding in more ways than one for the Padfields.

Mother Andrea Padfield took daughter Grace, 7, along to the planting on Marine Parade yesterday to help her earn a Brownies badge while learning about the importance of looking after the sand dunes and how to plant at the beach.

Mrs Padfield said Grace had a good time and the planting was educational.

"I thought Coast Care really put a lot of thought into it, they had a free sausage sizzle, drinks and spot prizes.

"My girls did the beach dig and got a little bag of lollies. They did a bit of planting, a man came and showed us what to do and why we were doing it, Grace said it was a lot of fun."

The pair were among 150 volunteers who helped with the event.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council coastal land management officer Amy Greaves, co-ordinator of the event, said they had a fantastic day with about 3000 new plants planted.

"We had over 150 volunteers come down and the weather was perfect. We had lots of families there as well, which was unusual for planting events so that was fantastic."

She said the lucky people to put in the millionth plant were 9-year-old Hamish McKinley from Omanu School and Arataki Girl Guide leader Hayley Laban, who won competitions for the honours. Ms Greaves said the area they had planted had been covered in weeds and now looked beautiful.

They also recruited about 50 new volunteers for the Coast Care programme, which Ms Greaves said is amazing.

Coast Care volunteers have been planting on the Bay of Plenty coastline for the past 19 years and about 3500 community members were involved in protecting and managing the coastal environment through planting native plants, building fences and other restorative work along the dunes.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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