In Rodney district two neighbouring areas, Blackbridge Rd and Horseshoe Bush Rd, are working hard to improve their local environment.
The Blackbridge group in the south (comprising of residents linked with BEPS – Blackbridge Environmental Protection Society) represents an empowered community aiming to protect, restore and sustain a healthy environment at Auckland’s rural urban boundary. Their vision is for the Rangitopuni Stream and the Blackbridge area to be safe-guarded and enhanced for future generations.
Horsehoe Bush in the north sits well within the landscape to connect to the North-West Wildlink corridor running to the east. Neighbours there have been active for many years, working to improve the environmental health of private properties by fencing off bush and scrub areas, removing environmental weeds and animal pests. They formed a group called the ‘Horseshoe Busdh Wildlife Habitat Group’ and have received good support from Council and nearby Waste Management. As weed and pest challenges remained, Gecko has been invited to partner with this area to help their neighbourhood engagement be more effective.
The Blackbridge group took part in the Trees that Count Initiative enhancing their local landscape with planting for biodiversity. Following a short planting workshop, they held a community planting event near the Rangitopuni stream and planted a number of native plants including mahoe, red matipo and mānuka. This wonderful planting is primarily in the south east where the major North-West Wildlink connections are, up to Whangaparaoa, and south west to Paremoremo, Riverhead and the Waitākere Ranges.
Throughout their community, plantings have occurred to build on and expand areas of existing native bush, as well as enhance and strengthen ecosystem structures such as bush edges already present. Through Trees that Count, Project Crimson helped set up ‘community-minded’ monitoring plots to track the success of the planting and provide useful feedback in the future.
The community has great plans for their future – they’d like to run neighbourhood bush identification and exploration walks and talks, host a ‘wine, cheese & weeds’ event, establish a predator control collective, and increase engagement with other neighbours about environmental weeds and more planting.
The Horseshoe Bush Rd group is at the beginning of this journey, with a primary focus on engaging neighbours to connect.
With support from Rodney Local Board, Trees that Count and Project Crimson