The Landscape Connections Trust is Otago is on a mission to create healthy landscapes that support resilient communities. Through the WWF Community Conservation and Education Fund, we are supporting their Halo Project – Source to Sea.
The Halo Project is working to connect and restore habitats around the Orokonui Ecosanctuary to enhance its ‘halo effect’. The Source to Sea part of the project is focused on waterways and wetlands.
Working with landowners and volunteers to fence and restore a degraded dune-wetland environment that will not only increase the biodiversity of the area but provide natural protection to the community against sea level rise.
Replanting a wide range of common and rare native plants, they are currently working across 40 sites to plant 94,000 seedlings. Sites are selected guided by the principles of promoting threatened and highly valuable wetland habitats, biodiversity, and sites of importance to Māori.
One large area, which thanks to a series of successful community planting days is coming along, is a DOC recreation reserve at the southern end of Wharewerawera Long Beach. Thanks to the help of 845 volunteers in 2022, the Source to Sea team planted 31,500 native seedlings which are surviving well despite a dry summer. Another 7,000 are being planted in 2023.