One of the first things which was done in this area was the reduction of signage – some of you may remember that a third large round pole was installed for more Bay of Plenty Regional Council signage. Some may also remember BOPRC signs that “sprouted” up next to the round pole. LOCA negotiated with Rotorua District Council for the removal of the 3rd round pole, but we had to give up the Lake Okareka community noticeboard panel.
So instead we asked the community about the location and design of a new noticeboard. The majority feed back that came in was for a new noticeboard that looked similar to the BBQ shelter and that it be located along the low fence line near the toilets. LOCA then approached RDC to ask for permission to put the noticeboard up. RDC staff agreed and made a contribution of $500 towards the sign; LOCA paid for the balance. LOCA hopes to get this sign board covered in toughened glass sliding panels inside an aluminium frame in the next couple of months. On the back of the sign we hope to have some information about the Lake Okareka area e.g. history, local birdlife, etc for locals and visitors alike to read.
This new plan for the Acacia Road lakefront area has been drawn up by LOCA Committee member Harm Zuidmeer, with support from the majority of the LOCA Committee members. It is based around some of the feedback we have received from the Lake Okareka community over the past year or so. This area will definitely still remain as a dog exercise area.
We appreciate that this a very social and special area for the people from that end of Acacia Road, Benn Road, and Wattle Grove. It is also well used by people from the nearby section of Loop Road, Summit Road, Branch Road and Ridge Road. What this proposal would do, is create a bigger space that can be used by the walking, swimming, and picnicking locals and general public – and their dogs - away from the jetty and launching area.
By trimming back a few metres of the reeds and by also providing a pontoon off from the beach in this area, LOCA hopes that this will draw those who use the jetty for swimming and diving off away from it and make the area a whole lot safer. The proposal shows the fence on the Loop Road end of the reserve shifting a bit to take in the large liquid amber tree for shade for people and dogs using the area, with some more bench seats. The bollards would be placed with enough space to allow small boats and people with dogs to easily pass through. There could also be some wetland planting into an area that is quite damp but does not grow reeds. Carex secta and Cyperus ustulatus would be suitable wetland plants for this area.
The LOCA Committee would like to thank everyone who has had a hand in the recent tidying up of the Acacia Road lake front area. Old water pipes have been removed from the lake bed and taken away, trees have been weeded around, the long grass and weeds have been either pulled or cut back from the lake front. The toilet block lake facing garden has been re-done and a path created to get to the toilets. Castlecorp have come in and removed the wire netting cages and put in low post bollards to protect the trees from the mowers. A new tupelo tree will be planted where the 3 struggling kowhai were. A tupelo does not mind having wet feet for long periods of time, it will become a large shade tree, create autumn colour along the lake front area and lose its leaves to keep the grass growing underneath over late autumn/winter/spring until it's leaves return.
The LOCA Committee is seeking written feedback from the Lake Okareka community to this proposal – either to P O Box 6210 Whakarewarewa or to the Lake Okareka Community Assn website email address found at www.lakeokareka.org before the end of June 2013 please.
- Removal of a few metres of reeds to square the end of the reeds off from the Loop Road end of the gate on the fence
- Building and location of a pontoon off the beach
- More seating (especially bench type) on the reserve
- Relocation of the low fence and bollards as shown on the drawing