Department of Conservation (DOC) staff were out planting most of last week but by the weekend there were still about 300 hundred native trees to go in.
Lake Tarawera local David Walmsley, who helped DOC during the week, saw an opportunity for the community to also lend a hand. The call went out Friday night and the community responded with spades. On Sunday morning 17 locals were happy to give up a couple of hours to get the trees planted and make a personal contribution to the project.
With the job complete, the team gather on the bridge at the start of the trail
DOC ranger Paul Cashmore was also impressed with the response from locals. "Not only did they turn out with short notice on a Sunday morning, but they also did a really top job," he said. "The decent rainfall we’ve just had will settle the trees in nicely".
Work continues to complete facilities at the car park so the first stage of the Tarawera Trail through to Hot Water Beach can be opened before the end of the year.
The Tarawera Trail Trust
Everyone mucking in along the start of the Tarawera Trail
The project is being driven by the Tarawera Trail Trust, a partnership between the land owners/managers that border Lake Tarawera and Te Wairoa Valley. These include several Maori land owning trusts and the Department of Conservation (DOC).
The current list of trustees on the Tarawera Trail Trust that represent the land owners/mangers are: Te Ohu Wi Kingi (Chairman), Peri Marks, Herbie Langendoen, Tawhiri Morehu, Bob Te Aonui and a representative from DOC.
The vision for the Trust is: "A world class trail where opportunities will arise for the tangata whenua and the people of Aotearoa/New Zealand."
This Trust will ensure that the aspirations of the landowners and the people of New Zealand are realised in respect of this place. By working with the Tourism Industry, regional and local businesses, and our local authorities we can provide a visitor experience that adds value in economic, conservation and social terms to Rotorua.