Hard Work Bearing Fruit at Community Orchard

Local Lifestyle News

A neighbourhood that weeds together, stays together.

Glenpark resident Erin Flanigan has taken one of NPDC’s small community orchards in New Plymouth under her wing and organised a volunteer group to help keep it weed-free and healthy.

As well as doing their bit to maintain a free source of fruit to passers-by on the Huatoki Walkway, Erin says the volunteer work is great for building stronger connections with neighbours.

“People can be shy about going to a neighbour’s house for a BBQ and a chat but if you’ve got a project to work together on, people will come – many people would like to come together to work on a community project like an orchard,” she says.

We have five community orchards and several more small spaces planted out with fruit trees on the 1,600 ha of parks and reserves we maintain around the district, including the Glenpark site on Huatoki Walkway.

We plant orchards to provide fruit for local communities and forage for pollinators such as bees. Our Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson says they can also be a great way for kids to learn about the changing seasons. 

“Often we’ve got orchards planted alongside walkways so people can pick as they walk through, but we’ve also planted out hilly parts of town where the land’s use is limited. 

“We just ask that people treat the orchards with respect and take only what they need for their own consumption,” says Stuart.

Erin believes that locals have a role to play in making great public areas available. “We talk about having sustainable communities that have food and work together and I firmly believe we can all be part of creating that. In our neighbourhood, caring for this orchard together is one of the things we do.”

If you’d like to help take care of your favourite local public space, contact us about becoming a volunteer – phone 06-759 6060 or email enquiries@npdc.govt.nz.

And if you’d like to join Erin’s team of volunteers, contact her on glenparkorchard@gmail.com.

Our five main community orchards are:

  • Ōkato Neighbourhood Park (corner Carthew Street and South Road)
  • Barclay Park in Waitara
  • Milne Place Reserve
  • Bayly Road Orchard
  • Sheppards Bush Reserve (Brois Street) in New Plymouth.