Wakatipu Basin to bloom crimson

Committed to restoring and showcasing some of the special native plant communities that once flourished in the Wakatipu Basin, the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust manages the Jean Malpas Community Nursery which grows and propagates native plants and makes them available for local restoration projects. Wakatipu Reforestation has received support from national conservation charity the Project Crimson Trust in the past and is once again a recipient of funding following Project Crimson’s 2015 Community Restoration Programme.

Each year Project Crimson reviews applications and supplies trees or funding to groups and individuals around New Zealand who aspire to create a long-term benefit to their local community through conservation projects involving pohutukawa or rata.

“Joris de Bres, Chairman of Project Crimson says "This year's Community Restoration Programme is particularly special as the Trust celebrates its 25th anniversary. The fact that we are able to assist restoration programmes in Queenstown is testament to the success of the Trust, which 25 years ago was focused solely on pohutukawa restoration work in Northland. It's wonderful that over a quarter of a century our work has been able to spread throughout New Zealand, and we are thrilled that organisations such as the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust are in place to help restore native plants into high profile parts of the Wakatipu.”

The Jean Malpas Community Nursery propagates many different native plants. It is a great resource for the local community, providing eco-sourced native species to replace weed species and restoration projects on public land such as the Kelvin Peninsula, Lake Hayes and Whitechapel Reserve and also on DoC Project Gold sites (27 local sites).

It is on the Kelvin Peninsula where Project Crimson has also worked with Wakatipu Reforestation Trust to restore southern rata species, with annual planting days with Project Crimson’s local sponsor, Rata Dining. Project Crimson, Wakatipu Reforestation Trust, Rata Dining and Green Cabs will return to the Peninsula in late October for another planting day with children from Remarkables Primary School.

“The southern rata is an iconic native tree that is especially vulnerable to possum browse. Thanks to the ongoing support of Project Crimson we have been able to raise southern rata seedlings to plant back into areas where possum numbers are low” says Wakatipu Reforestation Trust’s Neill Simpson. “Since the nursery was formed 2014 we have produced about 9000 plants (including southern rata) as a result of the hard work of Wakatipu Reforestation Trust volunteers, and with the help of funding from Project Crimson. We are delighted to receive funding again this year from Project Crimson to continue this important work”.