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Planting Day for Blind Creek
Aug 29, 2007
Author: Weedbusters

The call has gone out for volunteers to help with the next Community Planting Day along the Blind Creek bank near Blenheim.

Spokeswoman Margaret Peace said another six hundred and twenty plants would be put in on the Planting Day on September 9th.

The Blind Creek bank has been transformed over the last several years since locals of Blind Creek Road decided the then weed infested eyesore needed a major overhaul.

With help from the Marlborough Council and the Weedbusters programme, they have cleared weeds and planted native species.

“When we started, the area was plagued with weeds including large willows, barberry Broom, Hawthorn and old man’s beard,” Mrs Peace said.

“The Council provided fencing to keep out sheep, and cleared out a lot of the weed infestations. Meanwhile, the locals formed the Tuamarina Landcare Group to better deal with other weed and pest issues in the area.”

The Landcare Group is now affiliated with the Tuamarina/ Waikakaho Residents’ Association, and with Weedbusters.

“Joining Weedbusters gave us access to more funding for tools and chemicals to deal with weeds,” Mrs Peace said.

The over-all project to transform the Blind Creek bank has been planned in three stages over six years, with invasive weed removal and replanting.

“We put in 700 plants every second year. We’ve been assisted with funds from Weedbusters, Marlborough District Council and the Department of Conservation to buy spray and spades and grubbers,” Mrs Peace said.

Regular weedbusting and planting maintenance is done by a core group of Blind Creek Road residents, with around 200 Tuarmarina households kept in the loop with a twice-yearly newsletter.

Mrs Peace said the wider Blenheim community was always invited to help out with the regular weeding and planting bees, including September’s planting day.

“The local school and Outward Bound Anakiwa have also lent a hand with the project,” she said.

“We have three adjoining areas to develop. Already, 750 plants have been established in the first area, and some are now about a metre tall,” she said.

“We’ve had a few hiccups with sheep and rabbit damage, and with some frost nip this winter. But we’ve done our plantings quite close, so the overall effect is really gratifying.”

“The second area has been fenced in the last month, weed rubbish has been burnt off, and spot spraying undertaken ready for the community planting day on September 9th.”

The Marlborough District Council’s Weedbuster Coordinator Willi Borst has praised the Tuamarina effort.

"It's great to see groups such as the Tuamarina Landcare people receive support for all the efforts they put into looking after a piece of Marlborough,” Ms Borst said.