Saturday, 8 March 2014

The Big Tree Problem in the Elm Park Reserve, Pakuranga, Auckland

Our attention this week was on the litter under one of the big trees on the Elm Park Reserve.

We have been concerned about this tree for many reasons:

  • the huge amount of rubbish under the tree - mostly plastic bottles and lots of alcohol cans
  • damage to the tree - graffiti and boards nailed up as platforms
  • all the litter makes this a dangerous place for children
  • litter can make its way into the stream

Have a look at this ongoing problem in the photos below:
Platforms are nailed into the poor tree...

The rubbish was a dismal sight...

This photo doesn't really show how much litter there was! We have to go back next week to pick up the remaining litter.

We set to work with our tongs...

We filled 2 large bags with alcohol cans.
They were recycled.

What is this??

Briana finds something worrying...

Litter from our EPS Gala last weekend...

Broken glass is a worry on our lovely reserve

More glass down by the Pakuranga Stream

We also found cardboard, pizza boxes, plastic 2L bottles, a plastic straw cover off our milk containers, and the contents of a vacuum cleaner (just dumped at the end of the turning bay at the end of the driveway).  This made us very sad.  We believe we need to treasure our green spaces and keep them pleasant places for children and adults to have fun. 

The other problem is that litter ends up in the stream which flows into the Tamaki River and then out to the sea.  This pollution affects marine life and, ultimately, our FOOD CHAIN (fish and shellfish) and the larger marine mammals.

So, we are very concerned.  We decided to go into the Wai Care March Monitoring competition in order to raise awareness of our stream's problems and also restart our monitoring of the water quality.  We have kept records of past water quality testing and we have lots of photos to help us analyse what is happening in our Pakuranga stream
We are twenty three strong...
and have grown from smaller groups since 2011.
Watch out for the post after our water monitoring session on Wednesday 12 March with Julia Tuineau.  Julia is an expert from Wai Care who has taught us over the years about water quality and how to identify invertebrates.

Nga mihi nui
The EPS Eco-Warriors

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