On Saturday 11 August, Rugby Legend Tane Norton and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson mucked in to help local volunteers plant thousands of native trees and shrubs at the Otukaikino Reserve, near Christchurch.
This staggering achievement was part of the Living Legends project. Living Legends will complete 17 community planting projects throughout New Zealand this year, planting a total of 45,000 native trees and shrubs. The work follows on from last year when Living Legends was established to leave a legacy of New Zealand’s hosting of Rugby World Cup. It’s a five year project which aims to plant 170,000 trees throughout New Zealand by 2015.
Each region’s planting project is dedicated to a local Rugby Legend. Tane Norton was selected as the Canterbury Rugby Legend in 2011 and spent Saturday at Otukaikino mucking-in with around 75 volunteers from the community planting this unique site.
Living Legends has now planted a total of 7100 native trees at Otukaikino Reserve with 5000 planted during Rugby World Cup in 2011. 75 children from St Mark’s School kicked off this year’s planting programme on Friday, with the help of parents and Project Crimson Trustee Ruud Kleinpaste, aka “The Bugman”. Local volunteers planting the remaining trees on Saturday alongside Tane Norton and Kate Wilkinson. Living Legends will return to continue planting in this area in 2013.
Living Legends is a joint venture of Project Crimson, an environmental charity with 22 years experience in community-based native restoration projects and The Tindall Foundation. Major sponsors are the Department of Conservation and Meridian Energy.