The Mokihi Reforestation Trust finally has a base to call home.

After three years of dreaming and hard work, the volunteer trust dedicated to the restoration of indigenous plants and bio-diversity opened its native plant nursery and base at McNulty Inlet in Cromwell last week.

Volunteers, trustees and members of reforestation trusts from throughout Otago and Southland attended the nursery opening, which involved a karakia, waiata and speeches and concluded with the planting of a kowhai tree by Central Otago deputy mayor Neil Gillespie and Cromwell pre-schooler Frieda Smith.

Mokihi Reforestation Trust chairman Blair Walter said the trust had three key sites near Cromwell and on the edge of Lake Dunstan where it focused on restoring indigenous plants and bio-diversity.

“We’ve removed a lot of the exotics and then planted native plants and trees that were indigenous to this area previously anyway, but sadly over the last 100 years the area has lost these species, so we’re reintroducing them.”

The newly-opened nursery would create a base for the trust and a place to store equipment and plants.

“The nursery is much needed our equipment, to be able to store plants while we get them from different nurseries, and to be able to hold the plants here to acclimatise to the rugged Central Otago conditions that we have here,” Mr Walter said.

Previously plants, equipment and supplies were having to be held in trustees’ houses and backyards, and garages, he said.

“Also it means our activities are going to be able to flourish presence in the community, something that people can see, something more tangible,” Mr Walter said.