Residents have embodied the saying "many hands make light work" as they worked hard to help the local environment.
A streamside community planting day held last Saturday invited local residents to help plant more than 800 native plants along the banks of the Ngongotahā Stream.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council land management officer Robin Pieper says the Ngongotahā Streamside community planting day was a combined event between Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rotorua Lakes Council to regenerate the stream banks.
About 40 people turned up, including a number of regional and district council staff and their children, members of the Ngongotahā Lions Club, local residents and members of the Filipino community, Robin says.
One thousand grasses and sedges were planted to stabilise the stream banks and margins.
There was also some release-weeding carried out around more established plants that were part of last year's planting.
"It was great to see so many members of the community come out and get stuck in. It is so uplifting to see the pride these local residents take in their environment and the enthusiasm in which they put plants in the ground.
"One girl cycled out from Rotorua city with her spade across her handlebars – that sort of dedication is impressive and much appreciated."
Robin says planting is an excellent way to help erosion stabilisation on stream banks and increase native biodiversity and habitat.
"It's one of those jobs where many hands make light work and so it's great to have the community along to help.
"It provides a setting for people to connect with one another and with nature while completing an important job for the Ngongotahā flood recovery project."
Robin says planting is the major task to kick things off, but it is equally important that there is an ongoing responsibility to make sure these plants are kept healthy so they can do their jobs of enhancing the stream banks.
"This is something everyone can help out with – try not to tread, mow or spray on growing native plants, and if you have the opportunity to do some weeding around them, maybe while walking the dog for instance, then the plants and our environment will be very appreciative."
Lions Club of Ngongotahā member Phyl Hawkins says the environment is one of the Lions International's five key areas it looks to help in.
"Where there is a need for the environment and looking after our green areas Lions will put their hands up and help where they can."
She says the day of the planting event was a beautiful one, and she enjoyed the teamwork and learning more about the stream and what is being done to help with the prevention of flooding in the future.
"I think it's great to see the two councils getting together with the community to improve the condition of the stream."
Robin says there are a few more events coming up over the next month or so:
- Waiowhiro community care group are having a planting day on September 7 – meet at the bridge for 85 Aquarius Drive at 8.30am.
- Utuhina and Puarenga will also have planting days coming up. Keep an eye out on the 'Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme' Facebook page for more opportunities.