|Dear <<First Name>>,
Shorter, cooler March days herald a shift in the seasons and the occasional morning frost is a clear sign that the snow-capped mountains of winter are not too far away. In this temperate weather window nature is still busy with a noticeable flush of growth amongst our native flora - it’s been a fantastic time for photography, wonderful weather for hiking and the ideal time to plant trees in the native reforestation area we manage for the Department of conservation on behalf of the Glenorchy primary school.
Here at Wildlight Safaris we are thrilled to have completed the first autumn plant-out of seedlings and saplings from the brand new Glenorchy School Native Nursery. Establishing a native nursery has long been a dream of ours and what an amazing journey it has been so far… the Nursery was built in January and on Tuesday the 24th of March we had an inspirational day of learning, sharing and getting our hands dirty as local children from Glenorchy Primary School collaborated with their peers from Queenstown Primary School:
- Planting out 69 large native saplings into priority reforestation zones around the Glenorchy wetlands boardwalk
- Transplanting 62 established native seedlings into larger pots, ready for future plantings
- Potting 528 kowhai tree seeds, locally-sourced by Glenorchy school children in February
Building the Native Nursery on Glenorchy Primary School grounds has enabled our children to become involved in the reforestation process from the very beginning. As adults and parents we are looking at the big picture: education, empowerment and imparting enough practical knowledge, so our youth can become responsible custodians of the land. Most importantly though it’s about getting our youngsters out in nature and having fun. What a great privilege it is to be a part of such an enthusiastic co-operative multi-generational endeavour where the little people are engaged and excited about planting native trees; they are having loads of fun, they absolutely love it and they are making a difference – one tree at a time.
Aeschylus said: “From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.” The seed for this Native Nursery was planted some time ago, but without the help, support and generosity of so many, this seed would not have grown as quickly and as strongly as it has. There are many people to thank.
I would like to acknowledge and thank all those that have made contributions. Firstly to Glenorchy Primary School - the principal, Allie McHugo, teachers Jamie Barrance & Helen Clark and of course the students who have all embraced the concept and reality of the Native Nursery with great enthusiasm.
Blanket Bay Lodge, Mountain Beech NZ Limited and Brent Hyde for financial support, John Burke and Ben McHugo who happily provided building expertise, Margot Dell at Gardena, Nichols Garden Centre Cromwell, Fiona Auther at Yates NZ, Winter Gardenz grow tunnels and Peter at Mico Plumbing Queenstown who all dug deep providing materials at cost or without charge. To Susie Geh and her amazing team at DOC, especially Natasha Bedford and Rebbeca Orphin for educating our young charges, and Ange van der Laan who has provided fantastic support for the project... many thanks.
A special thanks must go to Neil and Barbara Simpson of the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust. Neil and Barbara have committed thousands upon thousands of hours to the reforestation of the Wakatipu basin - their dedication and tireless work is an inspiration to us all. Both have been incredibly supportive of the Glenorchy Native Nursery, imparting knowledge and wisdom while the trust has provided us with our first consignment of natives. They are the mighty tree of wisdom and we are happy to be a seedling growing in the shade they provide… Thank-you.
As we head towards Easter and school holidays I hope you all have a much deserved rest, it has been a busy few months. But if you do run short of things to do over the break: please plant a native for the future.
“Be the change you want to see in the World”
Custodian - Glenorchy Native Nursery
Director - Wildlight Safaris & Mountain Beech NZ Ltd