Native trees are part of our identity as New Zealanders, and funding is available to support planting across the country to help remember community heroes.
Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) is offering grants for commemorative tree planting through the One Billion Trees-funded Matariki Tu Rākau programme.
Senior Advisor, Matariki Tu Rākau, Belinda Miller encourages groups such as marae, schools and other community organisations to get in touch now to secure funding for planting in 2021
"The Matariki Tu Rākau programme has so far supported the planting of 83 living memorials around the country, some of which will happen next winter."
"The living memorials are planted to honour community members who have made practical change through their efforts, bought distinction to New Zealand through their work, or have enhanced New Zealand's reputation in an area or activity," says Belinda.
Matariki Tu Rākau grants provide funding for native trees, clearing planting areas, a plaque, and kai for the planting event. It can also contribute to tree maintenance.
"We can help you plan where to plant your memorial, what trees to plant, how to prepare and maintain your planting, how to celebrate it, and how to get the local community involved."
"A great example is a wonderful day at Huramua Marae at Wairoa on 11 July 2020 where the community planted nearly 500 native trees to honour their returned service personnel, and to create a special place for future generations," says Belinda.
Learn more about the Matariki Tu Rākau programme including a video
Other recent examples of Matariki Tu Rākau plantings:
- A community planting at Matamata where more than 400 people planted 868 trees along the Swap Park Walkway to commemorate New Zealand's response to COVID-19. The living memorial honours both essential workers who went above and beyond to care for our sick, but also to remember all those in New Zealand and around the world who have died from COVID-19.
- A school planting at Gladstone School in the Wairarapa where students planted a living memorial of 150 trees along a stream to honour local Māori chief and leader Nukupewapewa and his sister Aromea as part of a learning unit called "Take Action for Waterways".
- A planting by Ōtamahua/Quail Island Trust of 1952 trees on Ōtamahua/Quail Island Canterbury to commemorate the work of Dr Colin Burrows, a local ecologist who worked with the group for many years, giving guidance and planting on the island.
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