A Milsom Place planting day will prove to be a fruitful exercise in the years to come.

As part of a pilot Sustainable Neighbourhoods initiative, being run by Tauranga-based Envirohub, residents in and around Milsom Place recently held a planting day.

Fruit trees and natives were added to the existing plants in the residents' gardens with members of the local branch of the New Zealand Tree Crops Association on hand to provide advice and assistance.

"It was a wonderful day of collaboration and caring," says Envirohub's community co-ordinator, Angela Trillo, who is co-ordinating the initiative. "It so warms my heart to be a part of this project and work alongside such delightful people as the Milsom Place householders.


"The BOP Tree Crops folk are just gold. We all learned so much from their willingness to share their knowledge of trees, it just oozes out of them."

Among the fruit trees planted was a double-grafted pear that will produce early and late fruit on the same plant, as well as mandarins and apples.

Natives included kawakawa and mānuka.

''The back yards will be ready to crop share in a season or two, people will be able to harvest their own rongoā and birds and bees will have somewhere to rest and feed.''

Once the garden planting was finished, the workers moved on to Vincent House to plant an orchard and a shelter belt of mānuka and karamu.

The pilot project began late last year and the idea is to support change and awareness to develop a lighter environmental footprint and generate community cohesion.

The planting day was the latest in a series of initiatives.

"Feedback from everyone was super positive and everyone was full of gratitude," says Angela.


Western Bay District Council has provided funding for Envirohub to continue due to the success of the pilot.

"We look forward to sharing this project with other streets in Te Puke and will be on the lookout for neighbourhoods who would like to be involved in reducing their footprint on the environment and increasing their awareness of more regenerative and sustainable practices.

"'We are excited to take this further, greening up the Bay of Plenty by linking up green corridors, growing food and creating stronger more connected and resilient communities in the process."