Russ Ballard’s speech notes
It is a pleasure to be here in Christchurch, as a representative of Rotary, at the launch of the initial planting to restore the ecology of the green spine which will produce a wonderful green space for the Christchurch community.
My name is Russ Ballard, I am a member of the Rotary Club of Wellington and Chair of the Rotary Peace, Remembrance and Community Forests Trust.
Tree planting and creating green spaces in communities has been part of the DNA of the Rotary organisation since its inception in Chicago as a community services organisation over a hundred years ago. This tradition has been particularly strong in New Zealand.
2021 is the centenary of Rotary in New Zealand. As part of the centenary celebrations Rotary identified 3 major initiatives one of which ‘Trees, Trees, Trees’ aims to plant 1 million native trees over 3 years. This program builds on some notable Rotary projects including the Rotary Auckland Trees for Survival, which plants 200,000 trees a year through a schools-based program and Forests at the Heart of Wellington which has planted 100,000 trees in the city of Wellington
The Rotary Club of Wellington applied to Te Uru Rakau for funding to support the aims of the centenary project and was successful in getting funding to plant 200,000 native plants over two planting seasons. The Rotary Peace, Remembrance and Community Forest Trust was set up to administer the grant. The Trust funds up to 45% of the cost of planting projects and requires that a substantial part of the remaining costs are met by community volunteers. Conservation Volunteers NZ work with the Trust as project managers.
The Trust is currently funding 12 project sites from North Auckland to Otago involving the planting of over 220,000 plants. The Dallington landing site in the green spine is a flagship site for the Trust with its significance to the social, cultural and ecological fabric of Christchurch. It epitomises what the Trust is about – Peace, Remembrance and Community. The Trust is supporting the planting of 42,000 stems on this site.
Thank you to all the volunteers who have turned out to do the planting today
Well over 150 volunteers turned up - locals and Rotary Club members – as Christchurch turned on a magnificent day for the first day of planting at the Dallington landing site. 2,000 seedlings were planted in about 90 minutes and Rotary put on a BBQ afterwards. Keep Reading