The Tamahere Community Plant Nursery volunteers have overcome daunting challenges to re-establish the nursery in a new home.
After eight months wandering in the wilderness, its thousands of plants housed at six private sites around the district, the nursery is once again operational in its own premises.
The nursery was evicted from its old home beside the Tamahere Community Centre last April after it failed to fit in with plans for the new sport and recreation grounds.
Although after a community challenge the Waikato District Council did concede that the nursery could have a spot in the recreation grounds the requirements and costs were too daunting for the volunteer group.
Instead, nursery volunteers, who have formed the Waikato Ecological Restoration Trust (WERT), were able to take up an offer from the NZ Fieldays Society of suitable land and a building on Airport Rd, opposite Waikato Airport.
“The society generously offered us use of the site when they heard we were looking for a new home,” said WERT nursery co-ordinator Jan Simmons this week.
“Thanks to a grant from the Living Water project we have built new shade structures and fully fenced the nursery area, including rabbit proofing it.
“The building is ideal for our purposes with plenty of space, toilets and power.”
Under the arrangement with the Fieldays Society for its use of the site the restoration trust will provide plants for restoration of waterways on the Fieldays site, a condition Simmons described as “win/win”.
“Over the last eight months, we have continued potting plants at two temporary venues and with plants stored at six different locations it has been great to get everything back to one place,” Simmons said.
“We are just completing a stocktake to see what species and numbers we may have available for this year.”
It had taken a huge volunteer effort to develop the Airport Rd site and get the nursery operational again. The result had been a credit to the many who had helped in different ways, she said.
Now, it was time to get the regular, monthly potting sessions underway. In a change from the past they would be held on the second Sunday of each month, between 1pm and 3pm.
Friday morning sessions between 9am and midday will be held on the third Friday of the month, with an additional session on the first Friday morning of the month for the next few months in order for a backlog of work to be caught up.
The first Sunday potting session for the year will be on Sunday, February 12 at 284 Airport Road starting at 1pm. Driving south from the Narrows, the entrance is the first gateway on the left past Lochiel Rd. Please close the gate after you drive through. There is plenty of parking at the nursery.
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