Posted by Allan Riley
Those attending the Rotary and Friends of Mangemangeroa (FOM) tree planting event had a very productive morning which we trust was fulfilling and enjoyable for all the 130 volunteers. This is promoted as a joint Friends of Mangemangeroa,  Rotary, and Pakuranga Chinese Association  community  event.
This followed a Forest & Bird and FOM community planting a week earlier where 32 volunteers on the job for 2.5 hours on two sites planted about 1300 trees (mixed pioneer species - manuka, karamu, mahoe, cabbage trees) with plant protectors provided for larger-leaved specimens.
It is great to see so many new volunteers turn out to help over the two weekends.
Rotary and FOM plantings:  Saturday 15th June saw a ten-strong team from the Fo Guang Buddhist Temple here for the first time.  Local Board members and Councillors teamed with local MP, Simeon Brown to plant the 2017 ‘weather-bomb slip’ below the barn.  Harjit introduced the Indian youth group Sant Nirankari Mission who together with the Indian Kiwi Positive Group proved a formidable digging and planting team.  Four Chinese groups including 45 members of the Pakuranga Chinese Association focussed mainly on providing and installing the green plant protectors.  There was further youth representation from the ATC , the Howick Youth Council and several parent and children walk-in volunteers.
Papatoetoe Central Rotary broadened the Rotary-reach as  first-time volunteers and said it was a great day, with weather to match. Howick Rotary provided a team of 18, along with Somerville Rotary.  Five Rotarian helpers catered to our stomachs with the sausage and pattie sizzle and light refreshments. A team of four from the ANZ Bank, Sylvia Park – all local residents - provided the corporate support.
Now for the key Stats. What did you achieve? From Saturday 15th to Wednesday 19th June, 1300 plants from Jim Duckworth’s plant raising unit, 1700 flax provided by Council, and mixed plants (kahikatea, cabbage trees, karamu  and Manuka etc) from other sources have been planted. Most were planted over that weekend.  Apart from the flax, all plants were eco-sourced from trees within the Mangemangeroa Valley Reserves and grown through the efforts of The Friends, and many schools and others.
It is fitting that John Spiller a co-opted member of the FOM and a Howick Local Board member, (with acknowledgement to his Facebook site) should have the final comments.

“Another terrific planting this morning in the Mangemangeroa Reserve. Lovely weather ensured a really good turnout from the Howick Youth Council raring to get their hands dirty and put some C02 absorbing plants into the soil. I was joined by Adele White and Mike Turinsky from the Howick Local Board, as well as enthusiast Damian Light. We planted flax on a grassy knoll down to the left of the barn which will be a future haven for nectar seeking birds such as Tuis, Bellbirds and Wax Eyes”

Thank you again to all who supported these plantings.
Allan Riley                                                                                                                
Chairman, Friends of Mangemangeroa Society 
Director, Club Service, Howick Rotary
Members and other volunteers hard at work planting Mangemangeroa Reserve
Howick Local Board members Adele White, John Spiller and Mike Turinsky with Howick Youth Council