The entrance to the DOC camp on Millar Road was newly planted out last winter. We also planted with the support of local DOC staff, and with the assistance of members of Rotorua branch of Forest & Bird and Rotorua Botanical Society more trees around the margins of the Tikitapu Scenic Reserve and in the area of the Mistletoe Track, opposite the Fire Station. There has been possum control, along the walkway – and the loan out to Okareka residents of Timm's possum traps. Property owners with rat bait stations have also been using rat bait, available from Landcare Okareka members, supplied by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
An area LO has concentrated on in the past 2 years, has been Taumaihi, part of Lake Okareka Scenic Reserve, at the end of Acacia Road. Weed removal was undertaken almost 2 years ago. Vigilant checking for emergent weeds was carried out over 12 months or so, before new plantings were done around the edges of the reserve in winter 2014.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank two of Landcare Okareka's enthusiastic and reliable supporters – Chris and Helen Russell. Helen, at times assisted by Chris, has reliably and efficiently looked after the Lake Okareka Walkway toilets for several years. Chris has been a committee member of Landcare Okareka Steering Committee for over 10 years. He came to workingbees from Matamata, before they bought their property on Millar Road. He would bring his 4 wheel motor bike and trailer all the way from Matamata, which was used to move truckloads of mulch to plantings near the beginning of the walkway. Chris is the person who has kept the area at the start of the walkway mowed on a regular basis. He has regularly attended working bees and carried out other work around reserves independently as well. He literally hates litter of any description and is well known for his and Helen's “wombling” duties keeping roadsides in the area clean and tidy. Thank you both for your sterling efforts which are much appreciated – you will be missed.
The report did express concern about the possible loss of funding (plants, chemicals, rat bait) from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Landcare Okareka has been a recognised landcare group with BOPRC for many years, and we are also part way through completing a Biodiversity Management Plan with BOPRC. I am very pleased to report that assurances were given at the meeting from BOPRC staff and Chairman that the funding will remain in place for some time yet, and that the Biodiversity Management Plan will be completed.
The technical support that Landcare Okareka receives from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff - particularly Land Management Officer Stephanie Bathgate and Dale Williams - was also acknowledged in the report and this is most appreciated.
This year work on reserves will continue as per usual, controlling weeds and undertaking further planting as required. Another large area in the Tikitapu Scenic Reserve, opposite Benn Road is likely to be planted this winter. We will also be looking at the plantings along the existing Lake Okareka Walkway to see what further work might be required there.
If you are keen to help, we would appreciate any time that you have to spare. Working Bees will continue to happen on the 4th Saturday of the month (unless otherwise notified). Watch out for the sign boards to go up - and please feel free to come and help.
Phone 362 8865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org