A mixture of staff from Dart River Jet, its Ngāi Tahu Tourism affiliate businesses and students from Queenstown Resort College (QRC) came together to plant over 1,000 native seedlings in the DOC Paradise Reserve on Saturday (September 19).
The planting in the Dart River Valley took place for the second year running as part of a long-term initiative to take responsibility for and improve the areas in which Dart River Jet operates.
While the seedlings were being planted by the team of willing volunteers, opossum, rat and stoat traps were also checked and baited with fresh material.
“I feel that being here today is about making a positive change,” said QRC student Stephanie Guilford.
Hard at work digging were (L to R) Andrew Edgar, Douglas Thomas, Corey Sinteur, Stephanie Guilford and David Kennedy
“This is my second year doing this and I signed up as soon as I saw the notice. It’s really hard work and a long day but you leave with a fantastic sense of achievement.”
Ngāi Tahu Tourism regional manager David Kennedy said it was heartening to see change after only a few years since conservation work first started in 2013.
Sarah McIlwrick, Dior Louis and Charie Mae Bayaron planting seedlings
“Clusters of regeneration in the Paradise Reserve under the Red Beech canopy are the most visible outcomes,” he said.
“The enthusiastic support of QRC students has been instrumental in enabling us to get so much done here in a short period of time.
Tessa Sinteur resting on a forest chair while wheelbarrowing out seedlings
“It’s really good to see the next generation of tourism leaders involved in this type of project.”