Tree planting milestone reached

From left, Michelle Hodges, Waikato River Authority; Don Scarlet, Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust; and Kevan Stewart, Chair, Waikato River Trails Trust, plant the 100,000th tree at Karapiro at the northern end of the Waikato River Trails.

Lake Karapiro was the site of the 100,000th native tree planted by the Waikato River Trails Trust, which has been carrying out the planting work along Waikato River since 2006.

To celebrate this achievement, last week a Kahikatea was planted a few metres from the lake, which is at the northern end of the trail. Waikato River Trails Trust General Manager Glyn Wooller said the milestone was a reflection of the role the trust plays as custodian of a quarter of New Zealand’s longest river.

“The new biodiversity corridor that has been created often replaces weeds such as blackberry and broom and also acts as a filter taking nutrients into the trees which helps clean up the Waikato River. With over 44,000 people using the trails in the last 12 months, the results of the planting project are providing a wonderful experience for everyone enjoying the Waikato River Trails,” Glyn said.

“This long-term commitment has been a true community collaboration between sponsors, land owners, a team of volunteers, trustees and staff,” he added, pointing out that every tree has been planted by a volunteer from local schools and businesses.  “To our volunteer supporters, be very proud of your achievement to date. Every tree planted now has its own story associated with the individual who planted it. We encourage our wonderful planters to share their own perspective with friends and family and to return in the future to see the profound impact they are having on our precious environment. We are pleased to note that the job is not finished and we will need more of your valued support to continue this project of transformation.”

The Waikato River Trails extend from Atiamuri in the south to Karapiro in the north, with the 105km journey broken into five sections that form part of the New Zealand Cycle Trails Network, which has around 2,500km of terrain on its books.

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