Greening Taupo

Untitled Document

“Trees are at the heart of the Greening Taupō project; by regenerating our native forests in our urban landscape we are not only allowing our native birds and wildlife to flourish but as residents of the Taupō - community we will also benefit.”

All around the country people are banding together to enhance the green life in their towns and cities. Even in our most picturesque locations there is scope to be greener.

Sue Lin talks to Nina Manning, the energetic project manager behind Greening Taupō (an organisation working to build healthy neighbourhoods by increasing the greenery in the community and promoting green urban development.

 “This job certainly ticks that box. I grew up in Taupō and have chosen to bring my kids up here. To be doing something that is making a difference to the community. It’s making Taupō a better place for my family to live in is a huge motivator for me.”

Nina describes her role as ‘joining the dots’; not only planting ecological corridors to connect wildlife habitats, but also bringing different community groups together to work towards a common goal. She is keen to involve as many local people as possible. School children are very hands on in helping with planting. Individuals and businesses can also get involved by becoming a Greening Taupō - Partner or Member.

Community planting and maintenance days held by Greening Taupō - are a great way to get trees planted in a socially enjoyable way. The planting days have another important function; they motivate people to plant trees in their own back yards.

“If everyone does a little bit in their own gardens it makes a big difference”, says Nina. “Every bit of planting and pest control helps wildlife to flourish and that in turn makes Taupō - a more attractive place to live and visit.”

Councils, local hapu and businesses have come on board as Greening Taupō partners (providing land and financial resources for the planting projects). In the past year the partnerships have planted approximately 30,000 trees on both public and privately owned land, in and around the township.

School children are becoming increasingly involved with planting projects and Nina is enthusiastic about the educational potential, saying “I’m finding our local schools are very supportive and keen to get involved in planting projects, both at school and within the community.”

Nina says she is learning all the time about conservation, especially the value of trees. “The benefits are not just environmental, but social and economic too.”

Ideally at some point Greening Taupō - will take on a life of its own and no longer need her, but Nina hopes to continue working in conservation for the foreseeable future. “I really enjoy working with a diverse range of people and it’s great to see how this project is breaking down barriers when working with such a cross section of society,” she says.

“It’s a perfect fit for family life and following my love of conservation. And, hopefully I can leave a bit of legacy!”

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First published in Weekend Gardener issue 409. Written by NGINZ. Reproduced with permission of Weekend Gardener.