“Adopt a Tray” programme a success

01 Jun 2021

The Mercury Environmental Trust is pleased with the outcome of the “Adopt a Tray” programme they launched in June last year. The programme started as the trust didn’t have enough space in their nursery in Whitianga to store all the knobby club rush dune plants needed for this year’s dune planting season. More than 25 local residents, businesses and community groups put their hands up to look after the more than 2,000 plants.

The trust collected most of the plants from those who took care of them last week. “We were a bit worried after the Christmas period because some of the plants looked like they were not going to make it, but the people who were looking after them took our advice and they bounced back,” says Alicia Lose of the trust. “They are pretty resilient plants, some didn’t need much looking after. Not all of them made it, but it is something that has to be expected, even in a nursery environment.”

All the plants are going to be planted at beaches covering an area from Whangamata to Whangapoua. “They can’t go anywhere else because they have been eco-sourced, that means that the seed has been collected from our local beaches and they can’t be planted in another area,” says Alicia.

“The plants will be planted during volunteer dune planting days organised by Thames-Coromandel District Council and Coastcare Waikato. Anyone is welcome to join us on those days, all the information concerning planting events can be found on the Coastcare Waikato Facebook page or on the TCDC website.

“We are not likely to run the Adopt a Tray programme in the same way in the future, simply because we have now extended our nursery and have enough room to store the plants. Nevertheless, we are considering running a smaller scale program that is more educational. We realised that the programme raised awareness around the dunes at our beaches in a different way and it made dune restoration accessible to more people without having to attend volunteer planting days.”

The trust would like to thank the following people, businesses and community groups for looking after the plants - Anna Cross, Tracie and Jenny Collier, Jaqueline Lawson, Jacqui Maria, Jayne Nightingale, Paul Graves and his daughter, Emma, Carolyn and Teresa Lewis, Caroline Wakelin and her neighbours, Helen Hart, Jeni Candelaria, Mandy Sewell, Lisa Kearney, Jonathan Kline, Ron Aylan-Parker, Alistair Bailey, Jon Maud and the Whitianga Bike Park, Peter and Carolyn Lawrence, Rice McDonnell, CFM, Barbara Boyd, Sue and Collin Reid, Claudia Pentner, Tiffany Reed and her children, Craig Rasmussen and Andrea Whitehead, teacher Darrell Adshead’s class at Te Rerenga School and teacher Jamie Hutt’s class at the Mercury Bay Area school.

Pictured: Alicia (left) with Jayne Nightingale and some of the plants Jayne looked after.