You could also meet LOCA volunteers working along the track, putting in timber edging or spreading gravel. Just ask them if you can walk through where they are working. They will advise you when it is safe and okay for you to walk through.
Working Bees on the track will continue over the summer and all offers of help are gratefully received. I usually send out an email a few days before a working bee - if you would like your email address added to the data base for these working bees please let me know - email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 362 8865.
We would just like to acknowledge a few different businesses and groups who have been extremely supportive of this project and say a huge thank you to:
- Rotorua Quarries (for all of the free track gravel)
- Terry Moore and T.W. Moore for the cartage of the gravel from the quarry to the pile near the Te Waiariki Purea Trust (TWPT) recreation shed.
- Thank you to TWPT (Mark Gattens and Laurie Durand) for allowing us to have a metal heap near their shed. TWPT for allowing us to have a container in their compound, which in turn allows us to safely store equipment and materials.
- The various funding agencies who supported the project financially: First Sovereign Trust Ltd $5000; Four Winds Foundation Ltd - $10,000, The Southern Trust $20,000 and Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust $50,000.
- John Owen and Owen Builders team for the excellent workmanship on the board walks and platforms that they have created for the walking track
- Lake Okareka Rural Fire Force volunteers who unloaded a trailer load of timber track edging by the paddle shed - and then a few weeks later they carried the same track edging timber into near the middle of the Lake Okareka walking track.
- Piako Tractors and Mike Rodgers who gave us a really good deal on the small tractor when it was purchased. Since then the tractor has had it's 50 hour service and check over - outstanding service - thank you!
- Prescott Trailers, Te Puke who custom built the trailer to cart gravel and tools - its working really well!
A huge amount of thanks must also go to Brian Law, the track building supervisor. Brian lives at Owhata and spends many of his waking hours out here at Lake Okareka when he is not at his full time job! He has been working tirelessly on the new walking track. We are very fortunate to have someone with his knowledge, vision and understanding of track building, involved with this project. Brian has given up all of his holidays this year to work on the new walking track. He also helps with Landcare Okareka projects and Working Bees.
Brian has been assisted in this track building work by Mike Goodwin. Together Brian and Mike have put in hundreds of hours of work. As well as track building, Mike also carries out a huge amount of other volunteer work in the Lake Okareka catchment, including a lot of pest weed control around the lake margins and in other reserves - and also a considerable amount of pest animal control work. All of this work is in support of both Landcare Okareka and Rotorua branch of Forest & Bird.
And finally "a BIG shout out" to all of the volunteers and supporters who have assisted in any way with the creation of the Lake Okareka walking track. Physical work on the track began back in October 2014 when volunteers started clearing the route from DOC camp to Boyes beach. Many volunteers have helped to lay geotextiles and then gravel on the new track; many other volunteers have helped with managing the DOC camp - the proceeds of which have helped with paying for Owen Builders for the timber constructed boardwalk sections.
Money from the camp contract has also purchased all kinds of other track building materials, including drainage pipes, hundreds of metres of timber edging and geo textiles. This has been a very large project involving many hundreds of volunteer hours.
It is great to see the track being so well used already - and much appreciated by those using it. Many people using the track make lots of really positive comments to those working on the track. Remember to take care when you do use it. We all look forward to the time when the track is fully completed, officially opened and people of all mobility levels (wheel chairs, mobility scooters) will be able to use the new Lake Okareka walking track.