Work Day Reminder, July 17 2021
The next Travis work day, is Saturday July 17, 9 am – 12:00pm.
Meet at the Education Centre (the old farm house) near the Beach Rd car park at 9 am. Click on the adjacent location map for a more detailed view.
This month we will be planting on the Mairehau Rd dunes. Please join us.
All tools provided. It may be wet underfoot, so gumboots are advised. If you don’t own any we do have some for loan.
Last Work Day, 19 June
A cloudy though mild morning helped persuade 18 keen volunteers to turn out on the shortest daylight weekend of the year. The mission was to do some infill planting beside the Inwoods Road entrance footpath.
This area has extremely dry, sandy soil and establishing plants has been challenging. Last winter extensive planting was undertaken. A thick mulch of unscreened green waste from the council composting facility was applied in an attempt to retain moisture. Some plants did not survive. The dry autumn was especially damaging and without the dedicated watering by our IDEAS team of volunteers there would have been many more losses.
Our keen Saturday team soon got warm with the effort of digging holes through the thick mulch layer and into the soil beneath. Approximately 150 plants were put in. These were dry loving species including prostrate kōwhai, Cassinia, Corokia cotoneaster, Carmichaelia australis (native broom), Coprosma acerosa and Muehlenbeckia astonii.
Very heavy recent rainfall had caused rapid weed growth on the mulch with grasses and mallow covering the moist ground. Luckily the mulch made it easy to remove these unwanted invaders.
Inspection of plants from last year showed that many had died back but were recovering and producing new shoots. Some Muehlenbackia astonii (shrubby tororaro) were cascading attractively over the top of their cardboard sleeves. Spiky matagouri and leafless lawyer were also spreading laterally.
Rubbish collection was also undertaken as the mulch included some household detritus such as old spoons, pot scourers and bottle tops.
Refreshments back at the Education Centre included some warm winter fare and, as usual, there was plenty to talk about.
Thanks to everyone who helped.
Article: Sue Britain, Images: Dave Evans
Colin Meurk Receives Honour
The indefatigable Colin Meurk received his New Year’s honour (Officer of the NZ Order of Merit – ONZM) from Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy at a ceremony on the Christchurch Town Hall on Friday 2 July. It was a shock to see him wearing a dress jacket, trousers and shoes instead of shorts and jandals. No neck tie, but he sported a handsome pounamu pendant. His citation was one of the longest read out that day, which is testament to the many groups he has worked with and projects he has guided over the decades.
Just a couple of hours later he was back in his element at Travis Wetland celebrating the occasion with friends and colleagues and guiding them on a walk to the bird hide and information centre. Fortunately the afternoon was dry and sunny.
Congratulations to Colin on a well deserved honour and I’m sure it won’t go to his head. He’ll be back with us passing on his wisdom for many more planting days to come. Looking totally at home with a planting spade in hand wearing his shorts and gumboots.
Article: Dave Evans, second image: Grahame