Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Ventura Apartment Nursery

On the 13th of April we were tasked with expanding our mangrove nursery in the garden. The capacity of our previous nursery was around 3500 mangrove propagules. We’d been given a bunch of bamboo logs for the roof, but there was no specific goal in mind except to expand the nursery. So while the girls began preparing the propagules and the pots for them, the boys started building another roof. In order to do that, we first had to remove all the grass in the area. With help from the locals, we managed to remove pretty much all of it. Then the soil had to be flattened; so a few of us started flattening the soil, while the others brought more dirt to fill the holes. After that, the roof could be built. We quickly measured up the bamboo logs and decided which logs were fit for being pillars, and which were fit for being crossbars. Afterwards, we put the canopy over the bamboo structure, and it was done! While the boys were doing that, the girls had been preparing the propagules and the pots. The pots are basically bottles that have been cut in half and then filled with topsoil; recycling at its best! So after the roof was done, it was time to plant some new propagules! We managed to plant 700 propagules in the time that we had left that afternoon, so we ended up on a total of 4200 propagules, with room for many many more!

Vunibau Village Nursery

On the 31st of March a group of around 16 volunteers from Projects Abroad went to Vunibau village near Pacific Harbour with the aim of repairing the existing mangrove nursery, then collecting and planting as many mangrove propagules as possible.

We arrived at 9:15am and immediately split into 3 groups. The first group was in charge of fixing the mangrove nursery which involved constructing a canopy made of bamboo and green nets. The second group went to collect propagules and soil from the nearby river to prepare for planting. And the other group went through the large pile of plastic bottles sorting out the tops from the bottoms so that we could plant them separately.

After the nursery had been constructed and enough propagules had been collected, we all began to plant the propagules. It was well organized as some people filling the bottles with soil and planting the propagules in them, then others were putting the mangroves in 10x10 squares of 100 and the rest were collecting more soil/propagules when we were running low.

We continued to work until almost midday before we had to head back to the apartments. Our initial goal for the day was to rebuild the nursery and plant 600 propagules. However, we shattered our target by planting 1500 propagules and collecting over 2000 more to take back with us and be planted at a later date. We then watered them thoroughly, said goodbye to the locals and left the village.

A week later, on the 7th of April, we returned to the same village to continue planting propagules. Although it had only been a week, a few of the propagules had already started to sprout leaves and many had grown since we planted them. We picked up where we left off and proceeded to plant 1044 propagules before we ran out of plastic bottles to use. Therefore overall, a group of 16 volunteers planted 2544 mangroves in Vunibau village over a 2 week period.