On the morning of Sunday March 9, 2008, a team of over 100 Ricoh volunteers set out from downtown Auckland by ferry to Motuihe Island. Ricoh employees were joined by their families and friends for the day out, and even a couple of families from our Hamilton branch made the trip north to join us.
This was the second summer visit to the island since 2004. The day was warm and sunny and perfect for seeing the island at its best. Being summer, we weren’t expecting to plant trees as this should be done during the winter months when the ground is soft and damp.
After arrival and unloading, our group gathered on the parade ground for a debriefing on what activities were to be undertaken. These included cleaning rubbish from the nearby beaches, replanting trays of small seedlings into bigger containers, and surprisingly tree planting in the “Ricoh Valley”. Recent rains had left the ground wet enough to give the small trees a good start.
We were given the opportunity to climb aboard the tractor and trailer to be taken in style to the work sites. The nursery was a-buzz with enthusiastic volunteers working in groups, even small children getting their hands dirty. At the planting area, the terrain was challenging with slopes and tall springy reeds. A couple of volunteers helped to rip up an old fence line with Mike from the Motuihe Project and the tractor. By 1 p.m., everyone downed tools to head back to the parade ground area for lunch. Some weary planters chose the tractor ride back while others wandered along the 1.5 km scenic route. We had a chance to relax with a cold drink, eat a BBQ meal, and socialise till the ferry collected us at 4pm.
A treasure hunt was organised for the wee kiddies on a bank that was covered in long grass. A fun time was had especially discovering chocolate Easter bunnies hiding in the grass. In next to no time, it was 3.30pm and time to pack up for the trip back to Auckland. A few weary volunteers were seen resting their eyes on the way back after all that fresh air and sunshine. It was once again another successful visit with the volunteers in the nursery re-potting approximately 1200 seedlings, the tree planters planting over 350 small trees, and the beach cleaners picking up 3 large bags of rubbish washed up by the tide! The next Ricoh trip to Motuihe will be on 25th May 2008 for the 5th Annual Big Green Day Out.
We will have an update on how many trees are planted at that time. Key highlights of our involvement: - Trees planted by Ricoh to date: 6900
- Volunteer trips to Motuihe since June 2004 = 6
- Ricoh invites their major accounts customers to join in the annual “Big Green Day Out” tree plant.
- Ricoh also helps sponsor the printing of the Motuihe handout brochures and are sponsoring prizes for a photo competition that is running till June 2008.
- Nga Tai Korapa, nicknamed the “Ricoh Valley”, is 1.5kms from the wharf on the south western end of the island. This is where all but one Ricoh tree planting have taken place.
- The island is pest and predator free, so endangered native birds are gradually being reintroduced. Saddlebacks were brought back in 2005 and next is kakariki in May 2008.
If you’d like to help in the restoration of Motuihe by joining in one of the Motuihe Project’s regular volunteer days, or organising your own corporate volunteer event:
Phone: 0800 668844
Ricoh’s 5th annual “Big Green Day Out” tree plant on Motuihe Island, 25th May 2008.
Another successful tree planting, probably the best we’ve had yet.
The weather was warm and sunny, despite threats of heavy rain the week before, the food delicious, both sailings were calm and as usual the volunteers were enthusiastic and happy.
In total 120 people took part including staff friends, family and customers and another 8 paddled over in kayaks from the mainland thanks to Richard Saysell and his fellow “Yakati Yakers”. We even had Yong over from our Singapore office and some of the customers who joined us last year had come along again not wanting to miss out.
A few people chose to work in the nursery and the majority headed to the “Ricoh” valley. The tractor and trailer were on hand to transport small children and some not-so-small.
We ended up planting 2270 trees in less than two hours before we headed back to the wharf for a delicious BBQ lunch, cooked and catered by Spit Roast.Co. Time just flew by and in next to no time we were loading the ferry for the trip back to the city.
I think this is one of the best planting days we’ve had and from the positive feedback I received everyone enjoyed themselves.
Over 9100 trees have been planted on Motuihe during the Ricoh planting days and over 6100 of these have been planted in the Ricoh valley area since 2006.