The lakes block (now known as the Parangarahu Lakes Area) was returned to the Park in 2004 when a grazing licence to a local farmer expired. The land was to be left to regenerate naturally, but substantial human modification of the land surrounding the lakes as far back even as pre-European times has meant there is no close seed source to feed that regeneration. In the short term the inevitable scenario will be extensive areas of hard gorse.
Ecologist Geoff Park prepared a restoration plan which proposed plots which will be planted with trees to provide a seed source that birds will spread to surrounding areas of gorse.
A MIRO nursery has been established to grow eco-sourced native trees for these planting plots. Tasks include seed collection, propagation, potting, weeding and general maintenance of the nursery. Work parties are held twice monthly on Fridays.
Plantings in the
Parangarahu Lakes area take place over the winter period. In winter 2014,
volunteers planted the 8th plot on the shores of Lake Kohangapiripiri.
From the start in 2007, in excess of 10,000 trees have been planted in the 8
plots around the edges of the Lakes. Pioneer plantings are providing
substantial cover in the earlier plots and secondary canopy trees are now being