Last week Lake Dunstan Charitable Trust undertook its first planting along Lake Dunstan as part of the Jobs for Nature project with LINZ awarded in 2021. The trust's Community Engagement Coordinator, Megan Phillips, has been working hard for months to organise all aspects of this project and empower local children to get involved in conservation. Megan said, "this site is just one section of the lake that we are looking to restore and, like much of the shoreline, faces many challenges such as rabbits and water availability. In partnership with Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust and Enviroschool,100 students from Cromwell Primary School helped us plant 224 natives close to Bell Avenue that will support local wildlife and provide a place for us all to explore and enjoy. This day will be a lasting memory for these students as they watch their efforts grow in front of their own eyes and attract the lizards and birds they know and love."
Grown from locally sourced seeds, 21 different species were introduced to the site including Kōwhai, mingimingi, Cromwell Broom and Matagouri. Native to the area, they are able to cope in the harsh Central Otago environment and are vital to supporting our local wildlife and improving the soil conditions for future planting. The trust is currently finalising the implementation plan for the larger scale restoration project along the lake, Bridge to Bridge, and will plant thousands more in Spring 2022 and 2023 between Deadman's Bridge and Lowburn Bridge. This work will be done by contractors, local schools and groups and on community planting days so be sure to follow the work on our Facebook page and website, www.lakedunstan.org.
The trust worked closely with local stakeholders, groups and schools to make this project a reality and would like to thank the following for their hard work and donations:
Department of Conservation
Cromwell Lions Club
Precise Contracting Otago
Hugh & Janet Derham
Southern Lakes ITM