Around 35 volunteers from the Castlecliff Coast Care group gave up their Sunday morning to work on the sand dunes near the Duncan Pavilion, buckets and spades in hand.
The group planted 900 pingao, a coastal sand dune plant that helps to hold the sand in place.
Progress Castlecliff Coast Care co-ordinator Graham Pearson said it was the first of three community planting days.
"The [Whanganui District] council opened up sand to fill a manhole and we did a deal with them - they bought the plants and we said we would plant them so it was a community buy-in to stop the sand blowing away like buggery."
Volunteers Murray Voss and David Carter had been given the task to build a fence around the dunes.
Carter said he has always worked in corporate roles but a few years ago he also worked as a park ranger up north.
Born and bred in Whanganui, he has just moved back and said it is good to be home.
"You get a lot of people moving back and they just want to do something for their home town. It's like I'm repairing all the damage I did as a kid."
Annalise Strachan says when she is older she wants to be a Department of Conservation ranger. "My mum thought this would be a good opportunity to start to do some more planting because we haven't done it for a few years".
There will be two more planting days on August 23 and September 19.
Pearson said the Cook Island Youth Group will also help with planting on August 8.
Planting on the foredunes will include planting spinifex and sericeus which are hand-grown for them, Pearson said.
The third planting will consist of cabbage trees and other coastal plants on the sand dunes at the rear of the Duncan Pavilion.
After they finished planting, the group enjoyed lunch out together.