Endless hours of tramping through marshlands by the Nukuhou Marshlands Care Group over the last several years to clear weeds and plant native plants have been acknowledged with a 2006 Bay of Plenty regional Weedbusters Award from the Department of Conservation and Environment Bay of Plenty.
Since forming in 2003 members of the care group have held working bees to target wattle, pampas, gorse, pine, blackberry and rampant roses.
Environment Bay of Plenty Weedbusters Coordinator Sara Brill said working in marshlands was not an enviable task, but the Nukuhou Marshlands Care Group had met their challenges with great enthusiasm.
“Working with Environment Bay of Plenty and the Opotiki District Council they have battled weed invasions and planted hundreds of new native seedlings,” Ms Brill said.
Department of Conservation Weedbusters spokeswoman Sarah Crump said the commitment of the volunteers was inspiring.
“They were actually nominated for the Weedbusters award by the Eastern Bay of Plenty branch of Forest and Bird. It is to their credit that they attracted the respect of such a significant conservation group,” Ms Crump said. “The judging panel too was impressed with the wide biodiversity focus of the group and their dedication to monitoring the marshlands.”
Ms Crump said that as well as achieving a new group Weedbusters Award for their efforts, the volunteers’ vigilance and hard work had gone a long way towards restoring the health of the Nukuhou marshlands.
“The group has also kept impressive records and has excellent plans to continue their work in the future", she said.