Hugh Logan, Director General of DOC, recently joined forces with local volunteers and DOC staff and volunteers to fight weeds at a Queenstown’ Gorge Road Wetland.
The willow weeding day was organised by DOC and Queenstown Lakes District Council to mark World Wetlands Day 2005. The wetland the group focussed on is a council administered site, put aside as a local purpose reserve for flood protection.
Gorge Road Wetland is the closest easily accessible wetland to Queenstown, and the only urban wetland in Wakatipu. It’s becoming increasingly important to conserve this site due to this proximity to urban areas, and also because of its biodiversity values.
A group of volunteers from the community and council and DOC staff worked at the reserve for the day. A range of commercial operators also helped out by donating staff time and equipment. Willows were a prime target so that more area can be opened up for wetland. They were controlled by drilling and poisoning, and other weeds were pulled from the banks to tidy up the wetland.
On the day Meaghan Miller from Queenstown Lakes District Council announced that there would be an ongoing annual event at the wetland. Paul Wilson (Director of Parks) from the council has also indicated that more work will be done in the wetlands in the near future.