By GUY WILLIAMS
A volunteer army from Queenstown Primary School is giving KAPOW some extra punch.
The school approached the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust last year asking if it needed students to help with one of its native planting projects.
The trust suggested Keeping Arthurs Point’s Original Wildlife (KAPOW), an informal group that’s been restoring and replanting in the Morningstar Reserve since 2018.
The project’s now under way with 140 kids visiting the Department of Conservation reserve
last week to get their hands dirty removing broom and other weeds, spreading mulch, and planting their own shrub or tree.
They also headed down to the beach by the Shotover River to learn about the area’s history, which includes intensive alluvial gold mining from the 1860s until the end of the nineteenth century.
The trust’s education and outreach officer, Joanna Smith, says the kids planted more than 200 trees and shrubs supplied by itself and national charity Trees for Survival.
The’ve also learnt about different native plant species, site preparation, how to maintain plants after they’re in the ground, and pest control.
One of the key benefits of the project, which is expected to run for at least four years, will be developing a ‘‘sense of stewardship’’ as the growth of the plants transforms the site over time, Smith says.
KAPOW boss Sararose Brown says many QPS kids live in Arthurs Point, and have planted
trees with their families in the 2.5-hectare reserve during KAPOW’s autumn and spring planting days.
Each QPS kid can write their name on the protective sleeve around the tree they plant, and will be able to return in the next few years and see how it’s grown, Brown says.
By the end of last week, more than 2500 natives have been planted in the reserve since 2018.
Meantime, wilding pine eradication group Arrowtown Choppers is calling on volunteers to
help plant 2000 beech, totara and ribbonwood trees on the slopes above Bush Creek this today.
Vollies are meeting at Arrow town’s Chinese Village at 10am, and are asked to bring their own tools.
For more details, visit the group’s Facebook page.