Ōkārito Native Plants Trust
The Ōkārito Native Plants Trust is a thriving and innovative community-driven initiative based out of Ōkārito, New Zealand with a focus on conservation and restoration efforts in South Westland. The Trust is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and intent of the Ōkārito Plant Project along with the management of the Ōkārito Native Plant Nursery.
The initiative began around 30 years ago when a resident, Dr. Anne Hall, witnessed the illegal clearing of native bush in the area. In 2010, the Glaciers to Wetlands Restoration Project was initiated, leading to the establishment of the Ōkārito Native Plants Nursery (now a division of the Ōkārito Native Plants Trust). The project aimed to protect and restore wetlands, including the kahikatea swamp around Lake Wahapo. This involved propagating native plants, engaging community volunteers, and raising awareness about wetland conservation. After the initial funding ran out in 2014, the Ōkārito Community Association (OCA) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) entered into a management contract to continue the nursery's work.
With the establishment of the Ōkārito Plant Project, in 2022 the organisation restructured forming two clear divisions as a fresh approach to generating resources and implementing the work that is required to achieve the trust's mission - The Ōkārito Plant Nursery and the Ōkārito Plant Project.
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