Local community organisation, Styx Living Laboratory Trust, are working to improve water quality in the Styx/Pūharakekenui River to ensure a healthy and biodiverse future for the Christchurch region.
For the past 22 years, the Christchurch based Trust has been dedicated to revitalising the Styx/Pūharakekenui River through raising awareness and educating the public on the river’s catchment, as well as working collaboratively with organisations to maximise opportunities for research and learning about the river’s unique environment.
One of the many projects by the Trust this year saw 7,000 indigenous trees planted at Ka Pūtahi creek, a tributary of the Styx/Pūharakekenui River.
Hannah Watkinson, Chair of the Styx Living Laboratory Trust, said that the re-forestation of the Styx/Pūharakekenui River is helping to capture more CO2 and benefitting biodiversity by offering native species more shelter and food.
“The indigenous forestation will increase the Pūharakekenui River water quality through providing shade and preventing run-off into the river. Furthermore, the restoration project will support the environmental, social, cultural, and economic well-being for those in Christchurch. We’ve come a long way but there is still plenty of work to be done through both education and our hands-on sustainability projects,” said Watkinson.
Alongside the numerous projects to support water quality and biodiversity, Styx Living Laboratory Trust (in collaboration with the Kahukura Rongoa Maori Trust) also engages and educates the local community on their environment, Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and Rongoā Māori (Māori healing). Additionally, the Trust hosts bus tours and an annual Summer in the Styx event with a focus on increasing community involvement and advocacy for the Styx/Pūharakekenui River.
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners New Zealand (CCEP NZ) owns land that runs adjacent to the Ka Pūtahi creek and recently employees from the Christchurch offices partnered with Styx Living Laboratory Trust to help plant 7,000 trees on the land.
“We’re hugely grateful to our partners that share our environmental goals and make our important work possible,” concluded Watkinson.