Bursts of colour are starting to explode across Hastings’ parks, reserves and roundabouts, with the planting of summer annuals in full swing.
Hastings has just been named the Supreme Winner of the Keep NZ Beautiful Awards for 2020, as well as taking out the Most Beautiful Large Town title, and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to beautify our community spaces, both by council staff and many volunteers.
The award wins are wonderful recognition of the hard work by hundreds of community volunteers and Council’s teams that goes into the district’s parks and reserves, said Hastings District Council Eco District subcommittee chair Ann Redstone.
“Every year, throughout the year, our green spaces are being refreshed, rehabilitated and improved, ensuring our community can enjoy them for years to come.”
A big focus for council contractors Recreational Services at the moment is the planting of more than 42,000 flower plants, in line with the yearly planting programme.
Cornwall, Frimley and Flaxmere parks are included, as are the central city, Civic Square, Splash Planet and various roundabouts and traffic islands across Hastings, Havelock North and Flaxmere.
This year’s pick of plants include geraniums, marigolds and petunias of varying shades, as well as dahlias, impatiens, salvia and dianthus.
Volunteers also get in on the action. Every year council supplies about 12,000 plants that are planted in parks and reserves across the district by community and business volunteers.
The aim is to improve biodiversity and ecology, and help restore waterways.
Management plans to achieve this have been completed and are being implemented for Waipatiki, Waimarama, Havelock North hills reserves and Cape Coast.
At Waipatiki, a 10-year restoration programme is nearly complete, and a strong care group established, with the domain in its sights for enhancement with native plantings.
Seven reserves at Waimarama have about five hectares of restoration planned and funded, and eight hectares of restoration planting is planned for Cape Coast’s 10 reserves.
In the Havelock North hills, ongoing native planting is happening at Tauroa and Tainui Reserves, with about 30 hectares of new and replacement planting for old gum and pine trees planned over the next 20 years.
Care groups are also established for Tainui, Tauroa, Tanner, Palmbrook, Karituwhenua and a new group set up for Keirunga Gardens. These community “partnerships” are the key to successful native plant and waterway restoration.
In addition, weed control and planting has begun at the Maraetotara Reserve waterfall, complementing the work being done over the past 10 years by the Maraetotara Tree Trust along the Maraetotara River.
As well as the volunteers and care groups, the business community is becoming increasingly interested in being involved, including Stantec which offered hands-on help earlier this year.
Finally, the hanging baskets that are refreshed each summer to hang in the main street are nearly ready to be installed, bringing another dash of fresh colour to beautiful Hastings.
Photo: Susan Pene, left, and Kevin Hodgkinson from Recreational Services planting out the Warren/Heretaunga St roundabout.
12 November 2020
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