Wellington Scoop

Preparing for summer – Wellington is re-growing its lawns


News from Wellington City Council
Spring is almost here – and it’s time for the Wellington City Council’s lawn renovations programme to get rolling.

A number of the city’s most popular parks and lawns will be given a springtime tune-up from late August to October. This is in preparation for the event-filled and hopefully sunny summer months, when they’ll get a lot of use from Wellingtonians and visitors.

Some of the central city’s busiest lawns – including Midland Park and Glover Park – will be fenced-off for up to 30 days to let nature do its work and allow the new grass to germinate and grow. Dog exercise areas, which are also well utilised, need this time to be renovated to recover from the heavy winter use. We want to ensure that these areas can still be used – but there will be some restrictions.

The Council’s Mowing Team Manager Matt Beres says various procedures will include topdressing, weed control, drainage work, fertilising, and sowing with new grass seed.

As part of the renovations, the Council is experimenting with a hybrid turf at two sites. It is an artificial turf that also allows real grass to grow through.

Matt says the Council’s sportsfields team has successfully trialled a section in one of the goalmouths at Seatoun Park. The hybrid turf will be laid on one lawn at Midland Park and on a section of the Cog Park dog exercise area.

Here’s the list of lawns getting a makeover:

• Glover Park (to be partially fenced off for up to 4-5 weeks)
• Midland Park (to be fenced off for up to 4-5 weeks)
• Cobblestone Park
• Railway Station lawns
• Magyar Millennium Park, corner of Molesworth and Hawkestone streets (partially fenced off for up to 4-5 weeks)
• Civic Centre, including Jack Ilott Green
• Katherine Mansfield Park, Hobson St
• Waititi Lawn (outside Parliament, corner of Lambton Quay and Molesworth Street)
• Cog Park dog exercise area
• Kent and Cambridge Terraces
• Freyberg Pool lawns.

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  1. Sekhmet Bast Ra, 22. August 2018, 11:26

    Having lived in Wellington for decades, this is the first time we’ve witnessed council staff make such an effort to upgrade the grass around the city and with a little more added to our rates bill this year why not invest some of that money wisely in the fine art of city beautification?

    Out with the evil invasive introduced species of grass and full steam ahead with ecological restoration in the form of pristine native biodiversity grass in recognition of ‘Our Natural Capital’.

    In the interest of active socialist communitarianism, once the grass has grown we could spray it with dye, organic of course, in all of the colours of the rainbow in recognition that Wellington is indeed the capital of gender diversity and be all ready to go for next year’s pride week, a far wiser and more green way to make the statement than the photo of Mayor Justin and a bunch of pre-schoolers crossing the mockup of the proposed rainbow crossing.

    Not only that, but while the native grass grows we could pay homage to Wellington as a Te Reo Maori city and put up some signs up which say ‘keep off the grass’ in Te Reo Maori, so everyone knows there is a rahui on it for now.

  2. Josie B., 22. August 2018, 12:25

    Hey Sekhmet – don’t give Justin ideas! I can see them ripping out the cherry trees gifted by the Japanese in the Katherine Mansfield Park off Hobson St because they aren’t native and are looking sad since they were neglected by WCC during last summer’s drought.

  3. CC, 22. August 2018, 21:39

    Why are people getting agitated about cherry trees – the Council doesn’t even make much effort to support plantings of native seedlings that it encourages voluntary groups to plant and nurture. It also has a dismal record when it comes to mowing and maintaining suburban grassed areas and playgrounds and it has a lax attitude when it comes to controlling noxious weeds that are running rampant throughout public spaces beyond the CBD.

  4. Farmer Bill, 23. August 2018, 7:25

    CC Noxious weeds? More like the herbicide the Council sprays to kill them! Thankfully Christchurch is more enlightened than our backward looking council and has stopped using Roundup (like Netherlands and other countries( worried about the effects of noxious spray. Around my area, natives spread themselves – that is the way of nature!

  5. Andrew, 23. August 2018, 9:03

    Farmer Bill, so no barberry in your area then? The council has not had a policy for controlling this until (it appears) recently. Go have a look around Hawkins Hill to see how this is spreading to the detriment of natives. As for the cherry tree discussion; a cherry tree in a garden is quite different to the ones self seeding and spreading in the town belt.

    CC, the WCC supplies sh*tloads of plants for the vollies to plant. Go talk to the helm about pumping more $$ into parks and gardens if you think that team is slacking off.

  6. Farmer Bill, 23. August 2018, 9:44

    Andrew – You will be glad to know, I just bought some trees to plant on my farm. But you won’t be pleased to hear the types: 4 Linden Limes (good food for my bees that I have managed on my property), one Portuguese Oak (edible acorns for my neighbour’s pigs), 4 Luecoxylon and 4 Ficifolia Gums (food for Tuis, Eastern Rosellas and other birds during winter and summer respectively) and a load of native hebes (just because they look good) from Akura which is run by GWRC just north of Masterton. They stock a range of plants both native and exotic – a diverse collection indeed. Thankfully, no eco-purist has mandated they stock on vegetation that was pre-European arrival. You won’t be pleased to hear they stock cherry trees which are good for erosion control and provide food for bees in spring and fruit for birds in summer. Gosh they will be spreading into the countryside!

    By the way, I never use glyphosate on my farm, and manage blackberry and gorse with my bush cutter. An enlightened neighbour is looking to bring in a steam weed killer. I’m thinking this is wise, given the example of Christchurch City Council which is reducing the use of noxious chemicals to kill unwanted vegetation.

  7. Andrew, 23. August 2018, 11:39

    Why do you presume I or others would be against what you plant on your farm Farmer Bill? We are discussing public land here! Anyway, continue with the ‘eco purist’ straw man argument if it gets the creative juices flowing. Which reminds me, I need to prune the cherry tree out the front (yes, I should have done that months ago)

  8. CC, 23. August 2018, 12:07

    Andrew – have already planted sh*tloads! Seems the nursery is the only well functioning part of the Council’s environment oriented units. Not much joy with the park maintenance management team though. They seem to think that if they don’t do anything, native plants will magically take over the margins of grassed areas that the large mowers don’t hit.
    Farmer Bill – seemingly WCC don’t use glyphosate or much else judging by the proliferation of nasties. Of course, there are plenty of people who, like you, would be only too happy to let rip on darwin’s barberry, elaeagnus and no doubt, the odd wilding pines, cherry trees and suchlike with chainsaws and brush-cutters. Not allowed! Such work has to be contracted out no doubt, but doubtless there is not a realistic budget?

  9. Farmer Bill, 23. August 2018, 16:42

    CC & Andrew – I’ve got quite a few wilding pines on my property – white pines (aka Kahikatea) and well over 100 Totara pine trees. Oh and some tall Corsican pines that have established themselves courtesy of the shelter belts established by nearby farmers. I’ve planted Kauri, Ribbonwood, Matai and Rimu in my wet areas. All paid for by myself without going cap-in-hand to a local council.