A key driver for the Trust is attempting to increase the less than 1% of indigenous vegetation remaining on the Canterbury Plains. The ‘green dot’ project is an attempt to identify and establish a corridor of plantings and build community awareness of plains biodiversity.

‘Greendots’ refer to a managed native planting on either public or private land supported by Te Ara Kākāriki  in conjunction with landowners and other organisations.

Each site is contributed to by a variety of organizations, of which we have assisted 115 Greendots to date. The size of the dots is not representative of the actual size of the restoration site. The real area covered is much smaller.

See Some Examples of Greendots Here

Greendot assistance for landowners

Applications for Spring 2024 planting are open. Please APPLY HERE

If you or your community group have a piece of land of at least 1100m2 that can contain 500 native plants and are wanting to restore the site for biodiversity, then please apply.

Successful applicants will receive one or a combination of the following:

• A restoration plan written with an ecologist, including a plant list and planting plan.
• A volunteer planting day at your property as part of our annual Canterbury Plantouts or staff planting days to plant 500 to 1000 plants
• A small financial grant to go towards plants and plant guards (max $1,500)

Landowners and community groups are eligible to apply if:

• Their property is located in the Selwyn District
• They have at least 1100m2 available to plant in one year
• They are able to commit to the ongoing maintenance and protection of the Greendot site


The theory behind our goals:

The Greendot philosophy is based on research by Meurk and Hall (2006) that examined the possibilities of integrating forest ecosystems into exotic dominated urban and rural landscapes. It concluded that using a greenspace planning option of patches and linear linked native plantings (at approximately 5 km spacings) could improve biodiversity and would not be incompatible with landuse and economic constraints in these managed landscapes. Further research by Lincoln University masters student Catriona Blum identified an optimum corridor within the Selwyn District in close proximity to the Waikirikiri/Selwyn River.

Sites are selected considering the following criteria:

  • Location: Proximity to the Waikirikiri/Selwyn River and to other sites (approximately 5kms)*
  • Size: Ability to contain a 1100m2 planting plot (initially-& with potential for larger area)**
  • Shape: A site with maximum core area to edge ratio
  • Landowners: Proactive and willing landowner (including signing MoU for site maintenance and protection)
  • Protection: Ability and/or willingness to provide enduring protection of the plantings (via management agreement)
  • Plants: Ability and/or willingness to use geographically/eco-sourced plants (Rangitata-Port Hills-Hurunui) and sequester carbon/establish biomass

* with potential to saturate all intervening land with seed from the bird dispersed trees and shrubs, as fruit eating birds are known to disperse seed at least 2.5 km (Meurk & Hall 2006) & and according to optimum soils/pathway (Blum 2007)

** the minimum size required and optimum shape to encourage bird habitat and dispersal (Meurk & Hall 2006)


We are in the process of setting criteria for self planted stepping stones to be added to the Te Ara Kākāriki Greenway.

Once this is complete landowners will be able to register their restoration site as a Greendot Stepping stone. We will have signage available to purchase so your project can be recognised as part of the Greenway linking the mountains to the sea.

There are dozens of sites already out there and with your help we can start to make the physical and community connections as we join the plants and people across the plains.

You never know you might be right next to another Green Dot on your road…

To register your greendot email [email protected].


Comments are closed.