Cleaning Up Henderson Creek

Operation Spring Clean 2011 was a collaborative event between Project Twin Streams Henderson Creek, the Te Atatu Endeavour Sea Scouts and members of the local community. A crew of thirty two people collected rubbish from the creek and along the streambank by foot, boat and kayak.

The youngest member of the clean up included three year old Zach, who along with his sister Amber, picked up rubbish from Tui Glen. The event was planned as part of Keep Waitakere Beautiful Trust’s Operation Spring Clean, an annual event that aims to increase awareness about waste in the environment.

Despite heavy rains in the morning, a team of dedicated boaties launched from the Selwood Road boat ramp at 9.30am. The crew who normally go out fishing together, left their fishing rods behind (some for the first time ever!) and instead went fishing for rubbish. The boat crew focused on the dense mangrove area of the estuary and travelled up to Tui Glen where Community Coordinator Sara Lovitz and Education Coordinator Laura Armstrong were setting up the waste audit station and preparing for the kayaking and land-based rubbish clean-up. The five person boat crew hauled in numerous bags of rubbish and recyclables, a tire and even a fender!

When the tide was beginning to go out, it was time for the arrival of the Te Atatu Endeavour Sea Scouts and their extra kayaks. It was a great opportunity for the community to be on the water and have a go paddling around the creek, as well as leaving a positive ‘kayak-print’.  The Scouts have previously been involved with The Big Clean Up/Dad’s Day Out on Henderson Creek (see below) but this year focused on the cleaning up rubbish themselves. The kayak crew, with the help of two safety boats, did a phenomenal job and kept the waste auditing team very busy!


Making Light Work of the Trash

The waste audit station attracted lots of attention from passersby on the adjacent Project Twin Streams Walk and Cycleway and it was a great tool to educate people about the different kinds of waste and dumping that occurs on Henderson Creek. Community volunteers helped sorted the collected rubbish into different recycling classes and landfill.

Here is a snapshot of what was collected:

360 plastic bottles (2l or less) one fender 15 shoes one chair
33 balls one trolley A deflated dinghy 17 Wood fragments and lumber
one bike tire and four car tires one large container of motor oil Netting 24 bags of landfill waste
114 aluminium cans two computers 112 glass bottles two tarpaulins
At least 18 metres of fishing line and various hooks Lots of dangerous items such as broken glass, ceramics, sharp metal) Building materials Heaps of toys, clothes, cigarette lighters, polystyrene, foam

The team also sorted 10 large bags of recycling. Thanks to everyone involved from the Henderson Creek team.


Big Clean Up/Dad’s Day Out 2010

The 2010 Big Clean Up/Dad’s Day Out was held in early September was a great success. Organised in conjunction with Violence Free Waitakere as part of Fathering Week, the day attracted a huge 600 people. Combined with some rubbish collected earlier in the week from the Oratia Stream nearly 1.5 tonnes of rubbish was cleared from the Henderson Creek that day.

A fleet of 20 kayaks, two larger boats from the Endeavour Sea Scouts and a boat from the Upper Waitemata Harbour Clean Up Trust, which cleaned up the creek from the harbour inwards, all worked flat out all the way down the creek for the afternoon. Not content with collecting rubbish, Green Jon and Rochelle from Community Waitakere, and some able assistants spent many hours sorting the rubbish so all glass, plastic and cardboard could be recycled.

It wasn’t all work and no play. There were pony rides, bungee jumping, potato and sack races, face-painting and a range of other activities to keep the people everyone entertained. Well done guys.