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Trust gears up for first field day

The wetland Clarence and Elise Stolte created. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

The Parkvale Catchment Charitable Trust is looking to get its feet off the ground and celebrate work on freshwater protection work at a field day.

The trust was created in 2019 but had faced delays and challenges due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Co-ordinator Lisa Stevenson worked with seven other leaders, bringing the community together to look after the area’s water, land, and people.

After a few brainstorming sessions, Stevenson said the group was ready to “get the community involved”.

She said the catchment was diverse in its land uses, with the highest percentage of use being lifestyle.

“It’s not just about doing the work and cleaning up our waterways; it is about bringing people together as well,” Stevenson said.

The field day at 1pm today invites families to participate in the group and learn about a planned vision and work.

While the committee initially considered inviting the public to a wetland with nitrate issues, it decided to showcase more of a positive setting.

“We thought we would celebrate some of the work that has already been done.”

Instead, the field day would be held at a wetland created by Masterton dairy farmers Clarence and Elise Stolte, who were also working on building a plant nursery.

Lisa Stevenson has taken on the role of Parkvale Catchment Charitable Trust co-ordinator.

“People have heard about riparian planting [planting along waterways] and fencing but might want to know more about it, like the costs, the people to contact, local contractors, and what the regional council can offer in terms of support,” Stevenson said.

“We need more people to put their hand up and get involved and help. The more people we can get in to help, the better.

“There has been a negative lens put on freshwater work, but there’s actually a lot of work being done, and we need to celebrate that – that’s what we want to do as a catchment group.”

Stevenson and her husband have always lived on farms in Wairarapa, growing up in “strong farming families”.

“As farmers and landowners, we love our land, and we need it to live, so we need it to be healthy.”

Stevenson said there were 600km of waterways to fence and plant, which could seem overwhelming, but that the committee was planning to start with two main ones, Parkvale Stream and Booths Creek.

“We want to be resilient in the face of climate change and maintain our ability to live and work here for generations to come.”

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