The Plant People have worked collaboratively with clients and local government to research, develop and implement innovative uses of materials to provide a cost effective and sustainable, low impact solution to the stormwater problem.

With the recent upsurge in development throughout the country increasing attention has been focused on providing engineered sustainable solutions to controlling stormwater surges into freshwater and marine environments. This approach will lead to a significant long term reduction in damage to freshwater waterways and estuarine sea floor habitats from contaminants such as heavy metal pollutants and eroded soil materials.

The Plant People recently handed over an early stages major project completed on behalf of Todd Property at Long Bay in Auckland. Project management for Todd Property at the development involved construction adjacent to the Awaruku Stream, a major freshwater feed into the Okura – Long Bay Marine Reserve and the Hauraki Gulf.

The stormwater journey begins with the Landscape team at street level within the development. Rain gardens were created to accommodate the stormwater runoff. Rain gardens have been researched and developed to offer the same properties as naturally occurring environments and act as a first stage free draining filter, slowing the speed of the initial stormwater surge and filtering out particles.

The filtered stormwater then travels at a reduced speed before entering the Awaruku Stream Wetlands At the start of the project some 3 years ago the feed slopes of the wetlands had been a combination of paddock grassland and introduced weed species. A major re vegetation planting of native species was carried out by the Landscape team including the marginal waterside and flood zone areas along with single species block planted design features to create a dramatic roadside entrance to the development. This planting provided an additional buffer for the Awaruku Stream along its 4.5km length. Most of the upper reaches of the stream had been lined with concrete or diverted into pipes prior to the project taking place, making the lower reaches of natural stream adjacent to the construction zone even more unique and special. After the initial planting The Plant People maintenance team implemented a two and a half year maintenance plan to ensure that the plantings successfully established and control residual weed seed re growth.