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Just looking ... Gore District Council parks and reserves manager Ian Soper takes a look at plants thriving in a tunnel house. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS

BY MARGARET PHILLIPS

Environmentally friendly principles have been incorporated into the Gore District Council’s parks and reserves practices, parks and reserves manager Ian Soper says.

Council byproducts, from lawn clippings to the mountain of paper used by staff, were recycled, Mr Soper said.

Clippings were composted and paper was shredded and composted, Mr Soper said.

“We generate a truckload of paper.

“We put it through the shredder and it goes into the compost pile.”

Wood from felled trees was sometimes given to the Gore Woodworkers Club to turn into useful and decorative objects.

The council had its own seed.

Flowering plants such as polyanthus, begonias, petunias and marigolds were grown from seed at the reserves depot, he said.

A cold frame protected plants when a frost struck. Its roof could be closed or opened, depending on the weather.

Ready to go ... These bedding plants are grown in the council's nursery. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS
Ready to go … These bedding plants are grown in the council’s nursery. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS

Some councils grew their own plants from seed but most contracted out the work.

However, the recent trend was towards councils bringing the service back in-house, he said.

It was cost-effective to grow plants as the infrastructure was in place, he said.

Plants were planted outdoors in Gore and Mataura and indoors at venues such as the council administration block, libraries and swimming pools.

The council runs a plant-hire service.

Mr Soper encouraged staff to contribute ideas for improving the operation.

When staff members travelled outside the district they brought back ideas they had seen in other centres – a practice he encouraged, he said.