Clutha’s Otago Corrections Facility (OCF) is supporting a beautification project in Mosgiel.
The Silver Stream Beautification Project involves planting native trees and shrubs, regeneration of the waterway and development of a significant community bike and walking track along the river.
People on community work sentences with Dunedin Community Corrections have so far provided more than 120 hours of labour to clear the area along the riverbank.
OCF, which has recently become involved, has agreed to grow about 10,000 plants per year for the duration of the project, three to five years.
OCF horticulture instructor Tua Koloi said the plants were being grown by men involved in horticulture industry training at the prison and the first 600 were ready for collection now.
“This project is a good addition to the prison’s many community growing projects,” he said.
“These community projects have created work, so we can increase the number of men working in the nursery.
‘‘We now have 16 workers helping with the growing, including five grounds workers who help with the pricking and potting. This means we can offer more men the opportunity to study their NZQA horticulture qualifications.
“Our numbers on level 2 training have increased from two to eight in the last eight months.
‘‘One has achieved his level 2 certificate and three have just recently completed their level 2 training.
‘‘Two further workers have just asked to join the training.
‘‘Working on projects like this give them an employable skill and qualification, as well as the pride from doing a worthwhile community project.”
A large number of community groups are involved in the project, including the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board, Downers, Ag Research, New Zealand Landcare, Pacific Collections› Scottish New Zealand Shop, Mosgiel Rotary, Scouts, Cubs, Boys Brigade, and the Taieri College Eco›warriors (Enviro Schools) who have had college pupils running planting days on site.