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MPS Conservation June 2012 Update

 

Welcome to the second irregular newsletter about what's happening with conservation at Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park. You are receiving this email either because you gave us your email to receive updates about conservation activities at Makara Peak, or you've been added to the list because you may be interested in hearing about what’s going on. If you wish for your name to be removed, just reply to this email with “remove conservation email list” so I know what to look out for.
 
NEWS
 
Grants: 
 
We've received 2 grants this year for conservation purposes. They are:
 
Transpower Community Care Grant - Transpower awarded the Makara Peak Supporters funding to extend the fire buffer zone along the North-West boundary (along Zac's Track to the Summit) and funding to purchase 25 of the new humane self re-setting A12 Good Nature possum traps ( http://goodnature.co.nz/ ). 
 
The fire buffer is a 20m wide strip of land planted out with fire resistant native plant species. This is a huge project as flammable gorse and barberry need to cleared and treated in preparation of the area to be planted out. The possum traps are a relatively new invention that may revolutionise pest animal control for smaller conservation projects such as Makara Peak. They are gas powered traps capable of up to 12 kills meaning no more need of checking traps every week. We'll be using these traps in areas of the park that are hard to get into, freeing up volunteer time for other things.
 
Wellington City Council Grant - Environmental Pool - This grant has just been approved! It'll fund weekday supervision of volunteer groups such as corporate groups and conservation groups planting out the fire buffer zone. So if your workplace is looking at holding a volunteer day get in touch with us!!
 

New community conservation website: 

 
Makara Peak Supporters have joined up with a new website called Nature Space launched by several government, local government and non government organisations. Check it out here: http://www.naturespace.org.nz/ .
 
Pest Control

Goats: The WCC has begun a massive 3 year goat control operation across parts of Wellington with the intention to eradicate feral goats from the south-west of Wellington (more details here: http://www.wellington.govt.nz/news/display-item.php?id=4862). This saw a helicopter operating in the park over a couple of days in May that was supposed to be followed up with ground hunters and dogs. Unfortunately the ground operation only got as far as South Karori Rd before the money for this year ran out. The hunters will be back next year however, fingers crossed, and this will hopefully see the end of goats in the park (for a long time).

Pigs: Pigs have been digging up parts of Upper and Lower Leaping Lizard and piglets have been sighted on Trickle Falls. If you see any fresh pig action email or post it up on the Facebook or MPS web page and we might be able to convince someone to do something about it.

UP COMING EVENTS
 
Winter Planting
 
We have dates for this years planting! Planting native plants at Makara Peak is one of the most personally rewarding ways of giving back to the park. Stop by and plant a couple of trees or a few dozen and over the years watch the transformation. The car park area used to be a barren weed filled mess not that long ago, now you wouldn't even remember what it used to look like. The Supporters provide all the tools, gloves and a snack and drink so all you need to do is show up. Plants are provided by WCC, Forest and Bird Wellington, Project Crimson and a few bought in by the Makara Peak Supporters.

Over the coming years there will be more of a focus on establishing rare, missing, and climax plant species. Many areas of Makara Peak's successional bush is dominated by mahoe (whiteywood) with little other plant diversity. Increasing the diversity of plant species will have a knock on effect with an increase in animal species through greater food availability and habitat. In order to aid our planting we'll be creating 'light wells' by creating holes in the mahoe canopy to allow light onto planted seedlings.

Dates and places for this years plantings are:

Sunday 17th June: Simon has about 100 trees that need planting on Sunday. We'll be planting the species that are quite rare around these parts, trees like Miro, Puketea and Titoki to name a few. They will become important habitat and provide food for native fauna in the years to come so please lend a hand from 10am. Meet at the main car park or check out the Facebook page or website for more details closer to the Sunday. Contact: Simon 021 075 3051

Sunday 1st July: Second planting day of the season will be held at the St Albans Ave entrance to the park. This is a popular entrance to the park for both riders and walkers. It's a bit of a weedy mess at the moment and needs some attention so we'll be planting 100 plants on Sunday. This is an easy location to bring the family to and you'll be able to see the improvements your work has achieved over the years to come. Meet at 10am at the beginning of the 4WD track into the park, or find us just a short wander up the track any time after. Contact: Karl 021 264 4085

Sunday 15th July:  Third planting day of the year. Location to be confirmed but expect it around the summit area.  Andrew has 130 plants that need planting therefore we need a good turn out to get them all planted. These plants are going into the most exposed parts of the park, excluding barberry growth and providing suitable habitat for larger trees in the future. Meeting at 10am, more details on location will be posted soon. Contact: Andrew

Sunday 29th July: The last Sunday planting of the year! Join Jamie at the corner of Hazelwood Ave and Sth Karori Rd (between the overflow car park and main car park). We started planting here last year and this year we're going to put in another 150 plants. Although not directly in the park, the Supporters have adopted this spot as a community project and to enhance the views whilst riding along Koru. It's very easy access so bring your family along... we'll provide a snack and drink as well as all the tools and gloves. This is the last chance to get planting this year, so if you've missed the other days and want to lend a hand, stick the date in your diary. Meet at 10am at the corner of Hazelwood Ave and Sth Karori Rd, there is no way you can miss us. Contact: Jamie 027 286 8255 

 
Cheers,
 
Makara Peak Conservation