Weedbusting win for Brook Waimarama Sanctuary

Volunteers at the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary - photo Colin Smith

Photo – Colin Smith

Thousands of hours of voluntary weeding effort at Nelson’s Brook Waimarama Sanctuary have paid off – not just in a reduction of old man’s beard and banana passionfruit vine, but also in a double win in the Top of the South Weedbusters 2012 awards.

The sanctuary won the Weedbuster Award for Work on Private Land, andalso the Overall Excellence Award in the annual awards, which are a joint initiative from DOC, the Tasman District Council, Marlborough District Council, Nelson City Council, Landcare Trust and Landcare Research.

Judging was made on the basis of length and degree of commitment, effective planning, and the degree to which the group was sharing its knowledge and achievements with others in the local community.

The sanctuary volunteer forest regeneration/weed control team has been eradicating invasive plants in the Sanctuary for five years. Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust board member and forest regeneration/weed control team volunteer, Rod Witte, said winning the award was a credit to the current team leaders, Mike Murphy and Grace Sutherland, and the entire team.

“As a member of the weeding team I see first-hand the dedication the volunteers have all have for what can be a fairly unglamorous task that is compensated by the team spirit that Mike and Grace engender.”

Weed control and native plant restoration are key elements in the Trust’s plan to establish a pest-proof fenced wildlife sanctuary for rare native wildlife in the Brook Valley. General Manager, Hudson Dodd, said thevolunteers’ efforts were the lifeblood of the Trust.

“Every invasive plant or tree they eradicate brings us one step closer to realising the exciting vision of a fenced wildlife sanctuary on Nelson’s doorstep.”

The Sanctuary wins vouchers for native plants from Mainly Natives Nursery, tree shelters from Advance Landscape Systems, and for winning the Overall Excellence prize, the labour of 20 staff from BNZ in Nelson who will help with a weed control job for a day.

Weedbusters’ judge and Nelson City Council Team Leader Environmental Services, Richard Frizzel will present the award to the volunteers at the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary visitor centre at 10am this Saturday (7 July).

The volunteer team meets fortnightly on Saturday mornings. New recruits are welcomed with warm smiles, a thorough induction process and morning tea. To get involved, contact team leader, Mike Murphy: mbmurphy@clear.net.nz