Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weeding Patrol

For the last three weeks we have been working on clearing tradescantia from a patch of the Elm Park stream where we collect our weekly data samples. Ranger Robynne dropped us in some black plastic bags so we collected up the tradescantia that we pulled out over the previous two weeks. We are happy to report that we did not find much rubbish in and around the reserve. Great news. The stream is still blocked by fallen trees from the last storm.

Picking up the dried out weed that we collected

One clear patch...

There is still loads of the pest tradecantia to remove... it is all along the stream

Bagged tradescantia left for the MCC contractors to remove

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rubbish, Rubbish and More Rubbish!

This a picture of us with the rubbish we found and the giant tube!
Back at the creek this week (Friday 22 October) we found more rubbish but this time we found a giant tube which was nearly our shoulder height! The rubbish started to get strange because we found a stick that which the tip was sharp. We also found more plastic and paper from our school; we found a ball and chunks of wood that were just dumped in the stream.  We recycled the paper and cardboard we found in our recycling bin.
We also took out lots of tradescantia and made a big pile. We are waiting for the blue rubbish bags and then the Council contractors can pick it up when we email Robynne.


Giant Blockage at the Stream

This is pile of polystyrene is as tall as us standing up.
The blockage is made up of lots of twigs and leaves in the middle of the stream!
Last week there was a blockage of twigs and leaves, it could impact on the macro-invertebrates because without flowing water it would die because it has no oxygen. We tried with a giant stick and try and loosen it but it didn't do much help. It was also blocked by a pile of polystyrene. H.L

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Learning about Threats to our Stream

We had another session with Robynne from Manukau City Council Parks on the threats to our local stream environment. She told us a great deal about the problem with weeds in New Zealand. There have been 2000 introduced plant species but we only have 200 native plant varieties. We are being swamped by some particular plants which have been escaping into our forests and parks. 

The Manukau City Council has produced a pamphlet for people so they can recognise and control the problem plants.

We learned:
  • our particular problem weed at the EPS Stream is Tradescantia (commonly known as Wandering Jew)
  • some pest plants can grow from a single small piece (tradescantia is one of these) and they should be disposed of carefully- not thrown into a pile or dumped on waste ground or parks
  • how to roll up the tradescantia plant carefully and email the MCC when it is ready for contractors to collect
Here are photos from samples she brought in for us, and from her slide presentation: