Bayview is blessed with many lovely bush reserves, which over time have become increasingly infested by invasive weeds like ginger, tradescantia, ivy and jasmine. In Lynn Reserve, one area in particular (now known as Tui Glade) had been infested by ginger and tradescantia for decades, evidenced by the large gap in the bush canopy. Many neighbours of the reserve would throw weeds and rubbish over their fence into the bush. The degeneration process was accelerating.
In 2013 Gecko was invited by some residents of Bayview to assist them with ecological restoration projects in their community. Prior to this Bayview had been part of a Placemaking project (a community-led project sponsored by Kaipātiki Local Board and Auckland Council) which created a huge sense of pride and connection. Their next step was to find out more about the environment (Bayview is surrounded by mature and regenerating native bush) and how to improve its health – and that was how the Bayview/ Gecko Trust partnership was born, in the form of a Living Neighbourhood.
With Gecko’s support the Bayview Living Neighbourhood has been busy educating their community about caring for the bush, removing litter and invasive weeds, replanting with native trees and shrubs to restore ecological balance, and the health and natural beauty of their local reserves. Their key value is caring for our native taonga (treasure) and building a “thriving, caring and connected neighbourhood that models people and nature living together harmoniously” (the Bayview Living Neighbourhood motto).
After doing an ecological survey of Bayview, Gecko’s ecologist wrote a comprehensive Bayview Planting Guide that was distributed to 70+ residents and is now available to download.
Springboarding off the Living Neighbourhood Programme, the Bayview community now has a wider focus on the overall health and wellbeing of local families. This involves a number of community initiatives and activities that have often been suggested and carried out by individuals. Some, for example a children’s clothing pool, have arisen in order to support families feeling financial strain. Art is a strong focus, with a craft group often active with fun and engaging activities such as yarn bombing. This enlivens the village and also enhances the natural beauty of the area.
Dozens of residents have attended many activities facilitated by Gecko such as:
- community weeding and native planting bees
- litter clean up events in local reserves
- native bush, bird and insect education walks
- tours of local gardens bordering native bush
- glowworm walks, eel feeding sessions and more!
Bayview Living Neighbourhood Has:
- provided a common point interest to unite residents with a common vision
- become a platform for several organisations to work together (e.g. Bayview Placemaking Project, Bayview Community Centre, Bayview Primary School, Mahurangi Scouts)
- given neighbours an “icebreaker” to meet and talk with each other about their common problems e.g. weeds and rats
- unearthed a handful of local “experts” on all things native who are now their go-to people for information and advice
- resulted in children taking a leadership role in showing others how to care for the bush
For more info or to join them in their efforts visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bayviewcommunity, call Shelley Pilkington (Chairperson of Bayview Community Centre) on (09) 443 0231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
With support from Auckland Council