June/July 2019 Newsletter

June/July 2019 Newsletter

The next volunteer days are: Sundays: August 4, 18, September 1, 15 and 29
Mid week: Thursday 29 August, Thursday 5 September, Friday 13 September

During June there was one Sunday trip (with another trip cancelled due to weather) and two mid week trips. On the Sunday there were 19 adult volunteers plus 30 students and 7 regulars. Mid week there were 78 volunteers with 8 regulars. 795 trees were planted.
A monitoring team went out on a weekend with 4 volunteers and 11 regulars. 
During July there two Sunday trips with 115 adult volunteers, 7 children and 32 students. 29 regulars supervised. a total of 1,000 trees were planted and 552 of those will be included in the trees that count project.
A monitoring team went out on a weekend with 14 regulars. 

Well deserved recognition
During the 7 July volunteer trip,  Phil Francis and Jill Bishop were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and Motuihe Coffee Mug in recognition of outstanding dedication over Summer 2019 in kiosk and guiding coverage.While it took a team of volunteers to cover the kiosk summer season, it would have been a tougher task without the support of these two.

John MacKenzie took this photo of the native lily reinga reinga which had established in the folds of a Moreton Bay fig tree. Phil tells me some were planted in 2007. It is amazing how plants can travel and re-establish themselves. 

Trees That Count Project
The Motuihe Trust has joined this project which has the goal of planting 200 million native trees by 2028. Our planting numbers will be included in the grand total. The counting started in 2016 so we will be able to include the last 3 years. A tree for the count must be a native, and must have the potential to reach 5 metres at maturity. To date the TTC project has reached a national total of 24,836,603 trees planted. The Motuihe Trust's contribution for 2016 to 2018 is 18,445. There was an article in the NZ Herald on Tuesday 23 July written by Adela Fitzpatrick of Project Crimson about the importance of native trees, not just in terms of climate change but as habitat for our native fauna. Native trees strengthen our ecosystems. The Motuihe Trust members knew this when the Trust was formed 20 years ago and it is great to be part of a national project that recognises and supports the planting of native trees. 

Now that we have joined the Treesthatcount project it reminds us to think about why we are planting trees. When the ferry pulls away from the wharf on a planting Sunday I always think about the trees the team have planted that day and what it means for the future. This poem, which stands at the start of Twin Oak Drive in Cornwall Park, seems to say it all.

Rat Attack
On the last Sunday planting day, Julie and her team had a look at the footage from the cameras. There, at the coastal end of Von Luckner’s bush, was a big rat. Fortunately our rangers were right on to the task and within the week they had caught it. As it is nearly bird nesting season, on going work is being done to make sure there are no more rats. It was a big rat so it may have swum from Waiheke via Crusoe Island or it may have come off a boat. DoC is conducting DNA work to try to find its origins.

Camera Donation?
From the above article you can see how important the cameras are in not only monitoring the wildlife but also locating predators. We need more cameras to cover a wider area. If you are able to donate $300 to pay for an additional camera, please email info@motuihe.org.nz in the first instance and I will send you more information. There is also the possibility of you being able to access the pictures from your camera. 

The manuka is in full flower on Motuihe (photo by John MacKenzie)

Weed Training evening
Who would have thought that an evening talk on weeds could be so interesting. Michael Jenkins (Motuihe ranger mid 2016 to 17) is now a weeding contractor. He gave a very interesting, well prepared talk to the 23 people present on what is a weed, where the weeds came from, how they are spread, identification, safety equipment and herbicides. He stressed the importance of cutting the weeds off as close to the ground as possible and putting on the herbicide (either spray or gel) right to the edges to cover the cut bark. He also said that once cut off we must be careful to hang the cut weed up to dry on a nearby branch so it does not regrow particularly rhamnus. John pointed out that Browns Island, Music Point and the Glendowie cliffs are covered in weeds and up wind of us. Michael replied that the only way to keep on top of weeds is to follow up, follow up, follow up, follow up. 

Sunday 9 June Public volunteer day
A surprisingly calm, sunny day after gale force winds and lashing rain the day before. A group of 19 adults, 30 students, mainly from Diocesan School for Girls and 7 regulars had a productive and enjoyable day. John led one planting group to Saddleback track and planted 60 clematis under Phil's direction. Julie led the other group to the valley near the water pump and planted 300 trees filling in gaps. In the nursery Lois and Nina pricked out 205 akeake and 13 koromiko. After lunch Julie led a walk along the Saddleback track and the Dio girls collected seeds and scattered them in appropriate locations. John took a last minute trip down to Calypso Bay and planted 12 each of kakabeak, shore spurge and pingao. A great day, thanks to everyone. 

Wednesday 12 June midweek Red Boat trip
29 volunteers from Suncorp x10, CBRE x10 and Genesis x9 plus 5 regulars. 250 trees were planted. 
Simon Sheen

Sunday 23 June Public volunteer day
Cancelled due to weather.

Friday 28 June midweek Red Boat trip
Simon Sheen
The official record shows 245 plants in the ground including manuka, mahoe, puriri and taraire, countless weeds no more and some good nursery organisation with 20 pohutakawa and 25 manuka potted up.  The area we worked on looks so much better and it really won't take long for the native trees to get going (no competition from woolly nightshade helps).  The island is a triumph of community action and you're all doing your bit!
Once again we hit the weather jackpot. A big thank you to the Google crew, it was great to have Google back on the island; a true supporter. The volunteers on the day numbered 49, 15 from Google, 21 PWC and 3 regulars. 

Sunday 7 July Public volunteer day
Thank you to everyone for pulling out all stops to ensure that Sunday was the success it was. It was pleasing to see so many people step up to the leadership roles. Special thanks to the kiwi monitors for preparing the woolshed for the nursery workers and pre loading the trailer with plants.
The tally for the day was 700 trees in the ground  and 415 Manuka pricked out under the supervision of Phil and Charlotte. Peter supervised a group of 5 planting Flax and Mahoe on the extension track and Lois took a group out to plant their donated specimen trees. After lunch Kathy took people on a bush walk. In the woolshed Wes installed safety signs and the smoke alarm. 

Not sure if people were aware that William Pike, the man behind the William Pike Challenge Award, spent the day out planting with the Diocesan group. He lost his leg in a volcanic eruption on Ruapehu in 2007 and has since the accident used his skills to motivate young people to achieve goals similar to the Duke of Ed scheme.
Like me, I am sure you will agree Sunday was a very satisfying and rewarding day helped by perfect weather. 
Jill discovered that an extra role for the Day Coordinator is to ensure that everyone gets back on board the ferry. A very obliging crew took the ferry back to collect 2 of our regulars. Lucky for them!
Thanks Lois for the certificates of appreciation and Motuihe embossed mugs presented to Phil and Jill.
Statistics for DOC
Children 7
Students 32
Adults 57
Regular Leaders 16
National Tree Count for trees over 5 metres
36% of 700 = 252
Thanks to all.
Jill Bishop

Two volunteers taking the time to plant correctly.

Sunday 21 July Public volunteer day
58 volunteers, mainly from a Filipino Rotary Group and 13 regulars set off on a lovely sunny day from Downtown, passing the beautiful Esmeralda sailing ship. John, Jill, Wes and Hazel took most of the group out and planted 300 trees near the old concrete water tanks. In the nursery Phil and Margaret supervised potting up of 321 plants including 163 manuka and also toitoi, kowhai, kohekohe, cabbage and puriri. Jackie and Caroline did a great job of improving the bridge over the drain by the plastic house and Lois barrowed heavy grade roading metal down to the wet area in front of the hand washing tubs. Julie and her monitoring people went out and changed batteries in the field cameras. In the afternoon John Cambridge led a walk to the saddleback track. A very productive day with lots of diverse jobs done. Well done everyone. 

Wednesday 31 July midweek Red Boat trip
Cancelled due weather.