Over the last few months, Paul from our Christchurch Canopy team has been working together with Christchurch City Council (CCC) and the Shirley Stream Care Group in a voluntary role to design and manage new native riparian planting for Shirley Stream - a small urban tributary of the Avon / Ōtākaro River.
In the early 1990's Shirley Stream was the first stream restoration project undertaken by CCC who pioneered the now accepted approach of naturalising urban streams to enhance ecological values while also managing stormwater runoff. At this time this decision was against a chorus of opposition who wanted the stream to be fully piped! Some of the original native planting remains along the stream, however other areas have reverted to grassed banks with little amenity or ecological value.
Paul & CCC ecologists have looked at methods to improve base water flow (due to historic drainage decisions, the stream is supplemented by pumped water), improve habitat through addition of stream boulders, and provide riparian planting.
The Stream Care group had an inaugural planting day recently and installed 830 native plants and protective shelters, with plans for more planting along the stream in the future.