Climate change mitigation
Our 34ha of native bush and exotic plantings is capturing 240 tonnes of additional carbon from the air and holding it mainly in the soil and the larger tree trunks, every year. Since the reserve was established in 1966, it has stored around 10,000 tonnes of carbon equivalent. The reserve is also an enormous community asset with its native biodiversity, and while we cannot claim carbon credits because of the age of the plantings, we can claim to be offsetting the annual carbon emissions of ten households in Taupo. It's a bit of a sober reminder that average households would need over 3ha of native forest at our reserve's stage of maturity (each) to balance their emissions (7 tonnes carbon equivalent per person per year, 3.5 people per family).
Since we have no streams or large ponds on the reserve, the gardens and native areas rely mostly on rainwater for survival. Warming future trends will need to be countered effectively, but already the canopy of large trees is creating a cooler microclimate in the reserve. As you can see below, eventually a native bush area lays down more carbon than a pine forest would, but it is much slower to get there.
Note: blue line = native forests, yellow/orange/red lines = various pinus radiata forestry examples.