Te Mamaku Drive Corridor planting project
A 10km long green corridor along SH60 between Tasman Village and Mapua, the so-called "Te Mamaku Drive", formerly the Ruby Bypass; that's the ambitious project of some local Tasman folk.
The project comes with access for the non-motorised public like walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders. A stretch of unused, mostly public land on the eastern side of SH60 is visibly overgrown with gorse, broom, wattles and wilding pine trees. It already accommodates part of the"Dicker Ridge Walking Track" and continues on Stagecoach Road down to Chaytor Road and the Mapua's Dominion Flats.
The "Te Mamaku Drive Corridor Project", a sub-committee of TACA (Tasman Area Community Association), wants to connect the Waimea Estuary and Moutere Inlet with mainly native bush and trees. This would beautify the area alongside the Coastal Highway (SH60), as has recently happened with many highways in other parts of the country, reduce the fire risk and provide a corridor for birds to move between the estuaries and nearby wetlands.
A plan has been drawn up for the whole length of the corridor, with identified priority blocks to start with and to seek appropriate funding. This is a long term project to run over years, if not several decades!
What started more than a year ago with this simple idea has now led to the first planting of 2000 trees done on 500 metres at the start of the project at the Tasman end. Thanks to the great support and funding of TET (Tasman Environmental Trust) and Restoring the Moutere through the Billion trees programme, people can now envisage the direction in which the project is heading.
To continue further south another 2-3km to the start of Stagecoach Road, the group of enthusiastic people involved in the project is facing the challenge of removal of a long row of overgrown pine trees, applying for funding to clear about 8 hectares of land, securing about 30,000 plants and continuing with planting to be done over the next winter of 2023.