(Kapiti News 4 September)
Whareroa Guardians had extra cause for celebration during a planting session on Sunday.
The excitement started during the week when the Whareroa Guardians Community Trust won the supreme award at the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards.
The main event during the planting session was the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate a Rotary Peace, Remembrance and Community Forest.
A total of 76,000 native plants were planted by Groundtruth staff and Whareroa Guardians volunteers in 2021-23 as part of the Rotary Forests of Peace, Remembrance and Community programme — a national initiative to commemorate 100 years of Rotary in New Zealand.
It all stemmed from the Government’s goal to plant one billion trees in New Zealand by 2028.
Rotary New Zealand successfully applied for funding via Te Uru Rākau — New Zealand Forest Service.
The funding was given to Kāpiti Rotary which enabled Groundtruth and the Whareroa Guardians to get stuck into some major planting.
Some of the species included mānuka, kānuka, lemonwood, five fingers and flax.
Kāpiti Rotary president Vic Hewson said planting was a good example of the reach of Rotary.
“I’m really chuffed that our international Rotary has provided money for this, but the most important thing is to have people in our community who have a passion for doing this sort of stuff.
“They are the people who deserve the credit.”
Kāpiti Mayor Janet Holborow thanked Rotary and Whareroa Guardians.
“It has been incredible to see Whareroa Farm change and grow over the years.
“There’s a huge amount of work that goes on here.”
She also acknowledged the efforts of people like Leon Kiel, Jenny Rowan, Carol Reihana, and others “who worked hard to keep it [Whareroa Farm] in community ownership for everyone to enjoy”.
“Without that determination, we wouldn’t have any of this here today.”
Groundtruth’s Peter Handford praised the Guardians, noting their continued work “wasn’t a minor task”.
“They do incredibly well in terms of what they’ve done and achieved.”