It was garden gloves and gumboots for forty Guides from the Waikato, Hauraki and the Bay of Plenty who went weedbusting in a Hamilton gully recently.
The two-day gully restoration activity was part of the Guides’ annual camp, held at Hamilton Gardens this year and attracting Guides from as far away as Te Puke, Tauranga and Kaihere. The weeding bee concentrated on removing invasive weeds from the Hungerford Gully and replanting the area in native species provided by Hamilton City Council.
Council’s community planting coordinator, Gerard Kelly, who was on hand to help with the weeding and restoration efforts, was thrilled with the efforts that the Guides put into the project.
“The Guides worked really hard, despite some rain putting a dampener on things,” says Gerard. “They can be really proud of the effort they have made to return this area to native bush.”
Hamilton Guide leader Jocelyn Flett said that they were keen to see the Guides getting more involved in community activities such as Weedbusters.
“This type of activity ties in nicely with parts of the Law each of us, at Guides, is encouraged to follow when we join the Guiding Movement - to care for the environment and to serve in the community,” says Jocelyn. “The Guides who took part in this activity learned a lot about weeds, about using native plants to replace them, and the importance of native plants to wildlife.”
Environment Waikato’s Weedbusters coordinator, Wendy Mead, hopes that Guides who took part in this activity in the city will be encouraged to start similar projects in their own areas in the Waikato, Hauraki, and the Bay of Plenty.
“It’s really important that people start looking after the areas of bush we have left,” Wendy said. “Weedbusting activities like this one can be a fun and satisfying way of making a difference to the environment we live in.”
The Hungerford Gully project follows on from community service carried out a few months ago by members of the Hamilton-based 2nd Waikato Guide removing weeds in Jubilee Bush. More weeding bees in this area are already planned as the Guides are keen to use their new found weeding and planting skills.