Motuihe: Volunteering to help plants

On the sunny, peaceful island of Motuihe we did a number of helpful things for the Motuihe Project Group. Motuihe is a small, grassy island near busy Auckland in New Zealand. The island is quite nice but there aren’t many native plants left. This essay slots neatly into my POI ecosystems project.

To get to Motuihe, we had to do 3 things: first we slowly sailed there from Rotoroa, then we dinghied to shore, and finally, the energetic nursery person, Nikki, walked us to the simple nursery surrounded by foliage.

Other than the nursery, there are many things on Motuihe like a wooden toilet, a small ice cream shop where we hurried to get some delicious ice cream, and a long, concrete pier with railway tracks on it. In the 1900’s, there were few vanishing native trees, a bustling navy station, and a small graveyard for people who didn’t survive a flu epidemic.

Other than the nursery, there are many things on Motuihe like a wooden toilet, a small ice cream shop where we hurried to get some delicious ice cream, and a long, concrete pier with railway tracks on it. In the 1900’s, there were few vanishing native trees, a bustling navy station, and a small graveyard for people who didn’t survive a flu epidemic.

After we looked at these sights, we got to work at the nursery. First, we helped Nikki search and destroy dead plants and hastily watered the habitats of the surviving plants because there had been no rain in the last couple of days. Then, I hurridly wheelbarrowed the dead plants to the compost heap and got to whack the compost heap with a rusty shovel to keep it tidy. THEN we had to fold tons of black bags!

The nursery belongs to the Motuihe Island Group which has a number of goals: first, they want Motuihe to many threatend native birds (like Kiwi) and second, they want to eliminate stoats and other pesky, egg-eating introduced species. Finally, the Project wants to plant many helpful native plants, bushes, and trees because Kiwi and native birds can nest in them and have babies (baby!) to reproduce. To plant bushes and trees, the nursery first grows them in safe protection until they are big enough and can be replanted on the island.

The nursery was happy for us to assist because we were helpful. We took out dead plants and weeds so new plants could grow. The nursery could have done it them selves but we saved them time by folding black bags that the dead plants were in and we also cleaned up.

All the work we did gave us many feelings. At the start, it was intimidating because there was so much to do. When we were folding bags, it was boring and tiring because there were so many. At the end of the long day, we were extremely proud because we did so many helpful things.

The Motuihe project has made significant progress but still has a long way to go. We only helped a little bit, but if many help, Motuihe might one day be peoples’ and animals’ paradise.

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