International Students Drive Karamea Estuary Tree Planting

A dedicated group of nine international students are in the driving seat of the latest efforts to keep the Karamea Estuary clean and green.

The student volunteers from America and Canada, worked diligently for the day alongside members of the Karamea Estuary Enhancement Project (KEEP) to plant (insert number) trees and weed existing plantings along the Karamea Estuary Walkway.

Following a demonstration from the Department of Conservation (DOC) on the art of tree planting, fertilising and weeding, the volunteers split into two teams. One group began planting and weeding and the other helped prepare flax plants for transplanting.

The group, which is part of the International Student Volunteer organisation, will spend a month in New Zealand with two weeks doing voluntary work and two weeks of travel and adventure before returning to the United States and Canada to resume their studies.

Megan Bean, a student from Indiana, in the United States, said, "New Zealand is just so beautiful and I'm meeting some awesome people, learning about Kiwi culture and having experiences I wouldn't have had as a tourist."

The planting was made possible following financial contributions from the Honda TreeFund, which funds the planting of 13 native trees - three of which are funded by individual Honda agents - for every new car sold by the company. The trees are planted locally in the customers’ purchase region by the local council, Honda staff and their customers. Nationally more than 460,000 trees have been funded. The British Oxygen Company also financially contributed to the initiative.

Honda New Zealand’s Managing Director, Graeme Seymour, explains, “We are committed to the environment and TreeFund is our way of contributing to the improvement of biodiversity, water quality and other local environmental concerns within New Zealand. Through this latest TreeFund project, we are enabling our customers in Karamea and the surrounding areas to become involved in the greening of their local community.”

KEEP Chairman George Snowden is grateful for the assistance given to the group during this latest phase of the project. “KEEP is grateful for the financial and logistical assistance provided by the Honda TreeFund, enabling us to continue with the Karamea estuary enhancement project,” he said.

Some of the ways that TreeFund projects support the local environment with tree plantings include:

  • The establishment of native tree populations
  • Water run-off control
  • Erosion control
  • Regional Parks or other planting for beautification
  • Biodiversity protection and restoration
  • Urban stream enhancement
  • Coastal protection and restoration planting