Green Corridors is seeking more volunteers to help build corridors of native vegetation along the streams from the Tararua Ranges to the Manawatū River.
Rosemary Gear is the main organiser, instigator, motivator and pest controller and has been closely involved with Green Corridors for almost six years.
"Recent progress as the corridors continue to expand has been extremely satisfying," she says.
"But there is always much work to do, so more volunteers are always welcome to become involved and enjoy the camaraderie. Planting seedlings is good fun, but we are increasingly concerned about the follow-up maintenance.
"We have to look after our plants and make sure they thrive. Failure to keep the weeds under control, as well as keep rats, possums and stoats in check, will result in many of our plantings and birds being lost."
Rosemary says the team is addressing these issues but finding enough volunteers to help with some of this work is challenging.
The Green Corridor network was established about 20 years ago to support local biodiversity by using the Turitea Valley to connect the forests in the Tararua Range to the Manawatū River flowing through the city.
The vision was to restore a Manawatū lowland ecosystem and enable native bird, insect and vertebrate life to move safely and thrive in the suburbs.
The increasing number of tui, kereru and piwakawaka now evident in many parts of Palmerston North is evidence of its success, Rosemary says.
In partnership with the Palmerston North City Council that funds the project, the original idea has developed further into creating a number of recreational areas and walking tracks through native tree plantings and gullies around Summerhill and Moonshine Valley.
The first native tree plantings along the Green Corridor were made in 2001. They centred on revegetating the Turitea Stream with subsequent plantings extending downstream and into the gullies of the Summerhill subdivision, such as the Titoki Reserve, Pari and Adderstone.
Each year Vivienne McGlynn collects about 30,000 seeds from 30 to 40 species including rata, rimu, miro, totara, rewa rewa, tawa, matai, kahikatea and lacebark.
These seeds are propagated by Totara Glen Nurseries and the seedlings are then planted out around the walkways and maintained and nurtured by the Green Corridor volunteers.
The steering group of community volunteers is chaired by Selwyn Yorke.
Past chairman Russell Poole has created a Facebook page showing all the latest activities and details of how to volunteer can be found at www.pncc.govt.nz - search for Green Corridors.