Invasive weeds can spread from gardens and threaten our native ecosystems, but dealing with these pest plants can be daunting. Our projects support residents close to the Waitākere Ranges to protect the native bush we all love, so it can thrive for generations to come.
THE BUFFER ZONE PROJECT
The Buffer Zone is about creating weed free buffer areas to protect our precious Waitākere Ranges Regional Park. We work in seven buffer zone hotspots around the park on approximately 200 properties. The work is highly challenging with massive weed issues and often steep terrain.
Building relationships across the communities is a very important part of our work, along with providing effective support for people. Support, in many cases, has meant controlling large areas of weeds on land directly adjacent to the park. Climbing asparagus and wild ginger are our main targets at present. Many locals had all but given up on their weeds, but our work has given a lot of them a new lease of life. Replanting with natives (often done by the locals) is also an important part of our work.
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OUR BACKYARD WAITĀKERE
EcoMatters is working with Auckland Council Biosecurity to support the residents of Piha, Huia & Karekare to control the environmental weed, climbing asparagus and its equally obnoxious cousin, bushy asparagus! This project is funded by the Waitākere Ranges Local Board to support communities living in the heartland of the Ranges surrounded by Regional Parkland.
We started with a focus on climbing asparagus given its ability to invade pristine bush. Its seeds are spread by birds and it can thrive in shady environments. It carpets the forest floor, spreading rapidly, preventing growth of native seedlings. This climbing, scrambling plant can kill others by smothering or ring-barking them. Small trees and saplings are particularly vulnerable.
To date, 56% of the properties surveyed in Piha and 49% in Huia have climbing asparagus. If you live in these areas or Karekare, please get involved in the project. Together we can make a difference.