Check in with the latest news and information about volunteering in parks.

How to plant natives in a coastal zone

13 August 2019

Check out Coastal Ranger Jason Roberts as he demonstrates the best method to plant native plants in old sand dunes - the typical coastal environment in New Zealand.

Christchurch students planting for the future

12 August 2019

Ciara Foley, 15, is organising a planting day on 18 August to help students take positive environmental action.

Local students are turning concern about climate change into positive action with a plan to plant more than 500 native trees.

About 50 high school and intermediate students, who are members of Christchurch School Strike 4 Climate, will take part in a voluntary planting effort(external link) at Pūharakekenui/Styx River Loop Conservation Park on Sunday 18 August.

“We’ve always wanted to do something local and practical that will bring environmental change. We’ve advertised the planting day on social media and had a really good response. I think it will be great for students to feel like we’re achieving something positive.”

Christchurch City Council’s Regional Parks Team is supporting the project by providing shrubs, trees and mulch. Council Park Rangers will also be on hand to supervise and give advice and a vegetarian barbecue is being held as part of the event.

Red Bus has agreed to transport the students to and from the site to reduce their carbon footprint. Red Bus Chief Executive Paul McNoe says he admires the students initiative and "commitment to sustainable action". 

Ciara says the encouragement from the Council and Red Bus has been “really amazing”.  

Council Regional Parks Manager Kay Holder is impressed by the students’ practical approach. “This planting will contribute to the ongoing restoration of an ecological corridor from the source of the Styx River to the sea.

“Their time and effort will help with the Council’s ongoing efforts to transform what was previously a paddock into regenerating lowland forest.”

The shrubs and trees being planted, which include tōtara, broadleaf (kapuka) and kahikatea, have been eco-sourced from the area – meaning the seeds they grew from were harvested locally.

Other tasks for the students will include weeding and mulching of existing plants. 

The planting day will happen about a month ahead of the students’ next planned strike action on 27 September.

Volunteers enjoy a perfect planting day

Volunteers enjoy a perfect planting 

Volunteers on track to plant 10,000 plants at Halswell Quarry Park this season

29 July 2019

Saturday saw around 150 volunteers descend on Halswell Quarry Park to plant 1,000 native plants from the 10,000 designated for the park this season.

Park ranger Nigel Morritt said volunteer numbers had been steadily increasing at Halswell Quarry Park with great support from local residents, schools and other organisations keen to help out.

There was a noticeable increase in younger volunteers with many children introduced to the park through education programmes and school visits who then return with friends and family. 

With only a few planting days to go, volunteers will have planted and mulched 10,000 native plants at Halswell Quarry Park this season.

Rain-day planting at West Broken Run

20 July 2019

A cold and drizzly day did little to discourage families from descending on West Broken Run to plant up the urban park in Wigram.

Several families turned up after Saturday sport was cancelled, dressed for the weather in gumboots and raincoats. It was extra special to see families climbing the fence between their homes and the park to get stuck into planting. A group of young people from a local accounting firm came for a team-building activity.

Collectively we put 600 native plants in the ground. Department of Conservation’s trainee ranger Georgia was on hand to reward the community's efforts with a Kiwi Guardian Tree Planter certificate.

The BBQ and hot drinks to finish warmed up our damp planters, with most people staying to mingle and chat despite the drizzle.

This is the third community planting event held in this reserve, enhancing the biodiversity and aesthetics of this urban park in the upper reaches of the Opawaho Heathcote River. 

Ara International Student Facilitator Chiaki Bowlam-Smith planting native trees

Ara International Student Facilitator Chiaki Bowlam-Smith planting native trees at Halswell Quarry Park

International students dig in at Halswell Quarry Park

1 July 2019

Thirty international students from Ara visited Halswell Quarry Park yesterday to plant native trees as part of an on-going restoration planting programme at the park.

International students from Ara regularly volunteer their time to do planting and maintenance at Halswell Quarry, organised by Ara student facilitator Chiaki Bowlam-Smith.

The enthusiastic group planted around 400 native trees and shrubs, some of them enjoying their first experience at planting trees. 


True champions of Christchurch’s green spaces

17 June 2019

Christchurch’s unsung green guardians of city parks are in the spotlight as National Volunteer Week celebrates their collective contribution to our community.

Read more(external link)

‘Spade date’ plants seeds of romance on Christchurch's Port Hills

12 February 2019

Fancy a spade date in the Port Hills on Valentine’s Day?

Organised by Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) and Christchurch City Council Parks staff, Christchurch’s inaugural spade-dating evening is being held from 5.45pm on Thursday, 14 February.

People can join fellow volunteers at a “romantic spot” on the Port Hills to help care for Arbor Day plantings, followed by a picnic while taking in the spectacular view over the Canterbury Plains.

Read more(external link)