The Tane’s Ark project in Aranui Park is a joint partnership between the Friends of Mapua Wetland and children from Mapua School.
This will be the fifth year for the project partners planting in Tane’s Ark, the south-western corner of Aranui Park, and an area adjacent to Mapua Wetland. We have now planted more than 3000 trees and shrubs in Tane’s Ark, with some recent modest increases in the number of rare and threatened trees and plants there.
Our pioneer plantings of ti kouka (cabbage trees), tarata, kowhai, kohuhu, manuka, kanuka, matai, kahikatea and a limited number of akeake have all done well in a challenging site.
We have also planted about 20 white maire trees in open ground in an effort to create a more open and accessible area of native trees in the park.
Trees that have not done so well in Tane’s Ark include totara, black beech, rohutu, lancewood, tarata in wet situations and a limited number of pukatea. Tane’s Ark has proved to be a wetter, weedier site than Mapua Wetland. Consequently our loss rate has been higher.
Another factor has been that we have had to increase our share of brush-cutting and weed control work, following budget cutbacks for reserves by the third partner in the project, Tasman District Council.
An initiative from the Mapua Community Association late last year to plant a significant kahikatea-pukatea forest at the on the west side of Mapua and a cycle-walkway trail there might help us. It could encourage a cycle-walking trail through Aranui Park that could link with growing residential development south of Mapua and historically-linked areas to the west.
Encouraging a safe and attractive cycle-walkway trail via Aranui Park that would link Western Mapua to the Mapua School, beach walkway and tavern area was one of the original objectives of the Tane’s Ark project
Priorities for planting and management in Tane’s Ark for the coming year are likely to be
- Enhancement and improvement of the one and two year old plantings near the project noticeboard and bordering the pathway beside Aranui Stream.
- Further planting of white maire trees to create an ‘open forest’ area. We also hope to add more narrow-leaved maire trees, but these are not currently available.
- Planting a further area wiith pioneer trees in the south-western corner of the park, in an area between the Aranui Stream and Mapua Wetland.
- Trying to limit weed growth and intrusion in a very wet area, west of the noticeboard.
LEARNING ABOUT INVERTEBRATES
Friends of Mapua Wetland will again be supporting and involved with the environmental programme at Mapua School, now into its seventh year. Janet Taylor sparked the idea and she is still strongly involved.
The partnership in environmental education has proved an exciting and rewarding partnership. We greatly appreciate the hard work of David Mitchell and Janet Taylor from Friends of Mapua Wetland in continuance of this project.
TANE’S ARK PIONEERS