Trelissick Park Group – February 2014
Trelissick Park lies in the Korimako and Kaiwharawhara valleys, between Ngaio and Wadestown.
The riparian strip down from bridge 5 that we planted in 2010, under the DOC Community Conservation Fund is now almost impenetrable. The toetoe, flax and trees we planted are doing battle with blackberry, buddleia and bindweed. Fortunately, our plantings are gaining the upper hand.
Our first working bee of the year in the lower Kaiwharawhara valley saw us cutting Australian wattle and buddleia, also raking up wandering willie.
Peter Reimann recently cleared out the fish passage ramp at the exit to the Kaiwharawhara tunnel under the railway line. This was buried after a big slip in 2010. We are also periodically clearing the debris trap. The life cycle of native fish and eels requires clear passage from the harbour to the headwaters.
Greater Wellington Regional Council have provided two rabbit traps. Rabbits have a penchant for recently planted cabbage tree, karamu and koromiko. Bill Hester is deploying the traps at the Trelissick Crescent and Waikowhai Street Park entrances – popular places for rabbits.
Peter Reimann has finished “The History of the Trelissick Park Group” for The Onslow Historical Society (OHS). People attended its ‘launch’ next to the old powder magazine building on Waitangi Day. The ‘History’ covers the 22 years of our trials, tribulations and rewards, along with some earlier history. Although this is nominally a history of the Group, the on-going restoration towards a native bush wilderness was really a huge collaborative effort with the City and Regional Councils, local associations, corporate groups and volunteers. The Park is now becoming a ‘gem’ only 5-10 minutes from the city centre and an important part of the ecological corridor from the harbour to the outer green belt. In writing the magazines, he was assisted by Frances Lee’s valuable input and comment. Judy Siers from OHS, who was a WCC Councillor for much of the period, produced them and provided some early history, aided by Barbara Hampton. John Shrapnell and Keith Maynard from Wadestown Residents’ Association gave some commentary about pre-1991 work and Murray Pillar wrote the ‘Foreword’. Barry Durrant and Frances Lee provided most of the photos. Bill Hester proof-read. Copies of the ‘History’ can be obtained from the OHS rooms at the old Khandallah Automatic Telephone Exchange, 86 Khandallah Road, which are open on Sunday afternoons.
Trelissick Park Group – Early November 2013
Planting in the Park is finished for the year – just short of 1,850. Small spots all over the Park are bristling with new plants. As well as our regular working bees, we have had recent visits by BNZ employees on their “Closed for Good” day and the Sathya Sai Service Organisation. With a mild winter and bouts of rain, then sunshine, everything looks in rude health (including the weeds).
We are delighted to learn that the City Council are displaying a “greening” tinge. They have produced a document for feedback comments called “Water Sensitive Urban Design”. This is “a guide for WSUD stormwater management in Wellington”, using such measures as permeable pavers, rain gardens, green roofs/walls, rain water tanks, vegetative cover and soak pits to slow stormwater run-off and filter out pollutants. We have long advocated for such measures. The Korimako and Kaiwharawhara streams run through the Park and take all the stormwater from a huge catchment area stretching from Khandallah to Karori – about 20 km2. Stormwater very quickly runs off hard surfaces such as roads, roofs and paved areas and the streams become brown, raging torrents. We watch in despair as stream banks get torn away, along with riparian plantings. Stream beds get covered in silt and gravel, smothering invertebrate life. We have also often witnessed significant pollution in the streams. The effect on fish life must be devastating. So we strongly supported the WSUD guide in our comments and hope that it gets incorporated in Council plans and regulations.
While on this subject, we feel a need for more education on stormwater. For example, people who wash their cars or dispose of cement washings on the street probably don’t realise that the detergents and cement go into the stormwater system, then straight into streams and the harbour to affect aquatic life (and the “Halo” effect).