Project Janszoon’s Helen Lindsay cuts the ribbon on the nursery extension.
A seed planted by a passionate Department of Conservation ranger in Motueka 30 years ago has blossomed into a vital community conservation project.
Around 20 volunteers, local commercial operators, and DOC staff members have celebrated the opening of the newly upgraded community nursery in the grounds of DOC’s Motueka office.
Plants from the nursery will be used for DOC and community projects, including the ongoing efforts to restore native bush in the Abel Tasman National Park.
The nursery was ahead of its time when it was established 30 years ago, and remains one of the few DOC community nurseries in the country.
But it had seriously outgrown its capacity, making it difficult for volunteers to work in. There was hardly standing room in the covered area of the nursery, and plants lacked protection from frosts in winter.
The upgrade, first initiated by Project Janszoon in 2016, was completed with the help of the Abel Tasman Tree Collective and the Motueka Community Store.
The nursery will also help new community projects get started by providing materials and an opportunity for individuals to volunteer and learn about propagation techniques and the care of native plants.