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Metlifecare residents take care of our native plants

Babysitting 3500 native plants may not be your typical grandmotherly duty – but then Greenwich Gardens resident Jan Knight isn’t your typical grandmother.

A passionate conservationist and lifelong gardener, Jan has devoted much of her life to enhancing and improving the world around us, and now she is playing a leading role in our groundbreaking sustainability project to restore Rosedale Park.

Metlifecare village Greenwich Gardens is one of the project’s neighbours and has been very supportive of the work being done.

“The Rosedale Park Restoration Project is a wonderful way to connect conservation with this village - we must all play our part in helping in the community, especially in helping nature,” says Jan, who was approached by the Auckland Council to participate.

The pilot scheme aims to increase the ecological value of the land and stream, and give locals a more congenial place to socialise and connect with nature.

Not only that, but it will give those contributing to the project - including local iwi, businesses, kindergartens, schools, and of course Metlifecare residents and staff – a strong sense of purpose and belonging.

And although Jan has worked on numerous other conservation projects (including Northcote’s Tuff Crater Restoration Project and native forest restoration work in Campbells Bay’s Centennial Park), she reckons this one is her most exciting yet.

“The end results will be a breakthrough in preparing and planting of Council land. I have never seen a project like this where spraying will not be undertaken and all preparation will be done organically. Once successfully completed, this project can be rolled out elsewhere.”

Jan’s first task is to “babysit” 3500 native plants until they are ready to be planted. Six other residents have also put their hands up to help, and in a village brimming with keen gardeners, Jan expects many others to follow suit.

As a key stakeholder in the project, Metlifecare is delighted to be supporting the initiative. The organisation has amped up its sustainability focus in recent times and the Rosedale Park Restoration Project is a perfect opportunity to bring their environmental values to life.

Says Greenwich Gardens Village Manager Grant Klenner, “When Jan first told me about the project, I felt that it was exactly what Metlifecare were focusing on and, at a village level, could have a major impact. “It is a simple project to be a part of, and everyone can be involved in some way – whether that’s actually helping to move the plants in, or even just telling the story to families. I believe residents will see great value and benefit in us not just helping to enhance the local area, but also in making the place better for generations to come.”

Republished with permission from Metlifecare’s The Villager magazine. Photo shows Robert Fairbarn, Alan Dunn, Jan Knight and Grant Klenner

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