Tawa Esplanade Restoration Project
Tawa Esplanade runs to Te Wai o Pareira from Matipo Road between Renata Crescent and Wharf Road.
It is a special place on Te Atatu Peninsula. It really is a special place... Tawe Esplanade is unique on Te Atatu Peninsula at least. It has the only fresh water spring that we are aware of, which flows all year round and the water appears to be clean and clear. This would have offered pre European Maori a very appealing combination of fresh water combined with an abundance of sea food in the Awa and upper Waitemata. There appears to be evidence of a 'midden' (see image below) with shells showing that there could have been shell fish consumed here in pre European times.
This project has been made possible through the generous support of the following partners:
Ecomatters Trust (Love Your Neighbourhood)
Te Taiao Conservation Network
Auckland Council support has included advice and guidance, tools, pest paste, mulch, fertilizer, brochures, gloves and safety glasses. Auckland Council is also a major sponsor of RiverCare Group.
The Henderson Massey Local Board has contributed $2,000 towards project management and the costs of a sign.
Second Nature Gardens support has included advice and guidance, use of vehicles, tools, wheel barrows, bins, plant storage, volunteer support and much more!
We are excited to be working with Rutherford College with some student volunteers offering their personal time for our weekend community projects and also the potential for a project to measure and monitor the quality of the stream water. We are also lucky to have the input of a student to our planning for this project.
We were fortunate to receive a $500 grant from Ecomatters Trust in the 'Love Your Neighbourhood' promotion which enabled us to purchase 97 plants for this project.
RiverCare Group is a part of the Te Taiao Conservation Network, which includes other conservation groups who are active on Te Atatu Peninsula including, the Marae Coalition, Forest and Bird, Sustainable Coastlines, Community Waitakere, Birds NZ. We work in collaboration with this group and value in particular the input of our local iwi into our mahi.
We are extremely grateful for this generous support.
The mahi (work) of RiverCare Group Te Wai o Pareira is to restore the mauri (life force) of the Awa [Henderson Creek]. However the mauri of the awa is also connected to the land around it. This restoration project helps us take a step towards our goal by restoring the native ecology of Tawa Esplanade by clearing weeds and rubbish and planting native species. We see this as a long term project with many stages. Stage 1 is underway..
Find out what works
Part of our objectives is to understand better what the best methods of planting are. We are planning on trialing different methods of planting:
Method 1: use small seedling plants to get established over the coming years.
Method 2: plant a smaller number of larger specimens, with lots of mulch
Method 3: set aside an area with a deep mulch, monitor and remove weed species and let nature do her own replanting.
We plan to monitor each method and report back to our Community which method works the best in this location. Phase 1 of the planting will be undertaken using Method 1 above.
RiverCare Group sees this project as an enduring one. We know it will take several years for the changes we make to return Tawa Esplanade to a place where nature flourishes. However, the time to start is now! Our future plans include:
Monitoring the Phase 1 site to control the re-infestation of weeds.
Set up additional phases to continue the restoration down the northern side of the reserve
Work with other groups to ensure we have effective trapping to control rats, mice and possums and other pest species
Continue the removal of pest weed trees on the northern side of the reserve and backfill plant with native species.
We will trial the use diverse planting methods to confirm the best method
We will continue to work closely with the community on these endeavours and keep them informed.
To be inspired as to what can be achieved, check out this video.