Our nursery provides opportunities for people to become involved in two ways. We cater for both overseas visitors and New Zealanders willing to volunteer their time to help with our projects, and locals wanting to help out. Find out how you can get involved.
Southlanders get involved
The Southland Community Nursery relies on ongoing volunteer support.
We provide a friendly, supportive environment where we supply:
- Materials, such as native seedlings, potting mix, pots and seed mix
- Facilities, such as a shadehouse, cloches and standing areas
- Experience, encouragement and expertise.
- Labour - you pot up your own plants or help with nursery jobs.
Local volunteers and community groups are welcome to visit or come to lend a hand. Contact us to find out about getting your school or community group involved in nursery projects.
Overseas and New Zealand volunteers welcome
Accommodation for conservation volunteers is available at our place from October to June. Length of stay is usually one to two weeks (although we are flexible). As a rough guide we estimate half your time with us will be spent working and the other half will be spent on recreation – exploring the local environment and having fun!
Self-contained accommodation is available within our house. Food will be provided and help with cooking is always appreciated!
Please note that because we both work, you will be required to work on your own for much of the time.
Most of our volunteer work is done outdoors, but the nursery contains sheds for shelter. Good wet weather gear and sturdy footwear is recommended. There may be some computer work and administration work available too (indoors!).
Southland Community Nursery
This is a voluntary project where people use the nursery facilities to produce native plants for restoration projects. Work includes:
- Seed collection, preparation and sowing – February, March, April
- Propagating from cuttings – May, June
- Potting up native plant seedlings – November - April
- Nursery maintenance – weeding, fertilising, moving plants, watering etc – October - June
We are continuing to undertake restoration plantings in many areas on our property. Most of the voluntary work involves planting, protection from possums and rabbits and weeding.
- Picking fruit, looking after the vegetables, fruit trees, etc
- Bird watching (Otatara has good populations of NZ pigeons, tui and bellbirds as well as kingfishers, herons, shags) or plant studies.
- Being involved in conservation trips eg visits to the Te Rere yellow-eyed penguin colony, Otatara Landcare group work days or trips, Field Club outings etc
Other conservation activities
- Southland Forest &Bird trips and talks.
- Otatara Landcare Group activities
- SERN (Southland Ecological Restoration Network) Trips and activities.