It is with pleasure that I present my report for 2023. With pleasure, because it gives me a chance to publicly acknowledge the great work so many of you do for the Cambridge Tree Trust, not only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but, for some, on many other days of the week also. I know we don't do the work for accolades, but Cambridge would be the poorer if we were not doing it.
Pete Fisher made an interesting calculation which he sent me last week. Based only on Tuesday and Thursday attendances, and not including work done outside those times, and valuing the work at the current minimum wage, we are giving the Council and the Cambridge community work valued at $68 876.
We now have some 30 projects that we attend to. Some require more care than others, and in future there will be more. The best way to deal with this is to communicate our concerns to the Council, and to this end, we hosted the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to morning tea at the nursery and took them to the Maple Arboretum. We have frequently met Matt Johnson, and Pete keeps in touch with the Deputy CEO of the Council, Ken Morris. This contact is mainly about a replacement for our truck, but the connection is established. One of our most valuable conduits is Sue Milner of the Community Board. We really value her contribution to our monthly meetings, and our concerns and ideas get back to the Board and the Council.
New projects this year have seen infill planting with bigger trees at the swale outside Busy Bees (formerly Little Einsteins) and at the road end further along. Jane's Lane, adjoining the Brian Mayo Reserve, has been extended. There has been infill planting in many other places too, in an effort to reduce the amount of weeding required.
Back at the nursery, Bruce and his team have done a magnificent job, first tidying the area behind the shade house, and then building a new shade house extension where a rather rickety one used to be. Further plantings have been added to the small park area adjacent to the nursery where all the trees are growing nicely. As an aside, I recently saw a mobility scooter rider with a Labrador in tow enter the Tree Trust carpark and proceed on to the park where the dog was unleashed and rushed around enjoying the freedom. It got me thinking that, with a fence around most of its perimeter, this park is not a bad place to exercise a dog.
This year we have had more members than usual leave our community as old age and infirmity take their toll, but we have also welcomed 5 keen and enthusiastic new members.
There are so many members who, in so many ways, contribute to make the Tree Trust the vibrant and successful organisation that it is. I hesitate to start naming people because very soon it would start to sound like a roll call of the membership. I believe everyone gives what they can and for that I am truly grateful because it makes the job of the chairman a pleasure.
There is, however, one person who the Committee would like to acknowledge, who has given more than 20 years of outstanding service to the Tree Trust, and that is Joan McCathie. At a recent meeting, the committee voted unanimously to award Joan life membership of the Cambridge Tree Trust
The Trust also provides a place where people can socialise and feel they belong. As Joan once said, "Everyone needs a gang and Tree Trust is my gang." A great analogy, but no patches please.
I am stepping down as Chairman and Pete Fisher is taking my place. Eric is continuing as Project Manager so the Trust is in good hands. Matt Johnson has indicated several good planting areas for next year so we can look forward to a busy and rewarding time.
It is with pleasure and gratitude for all the help that I have had that I present my annual report.
The year has been a busy one, because, without Covid restrictions, and very few days of reaaly bad weather, a lot has been achieved. We hae over 30 projects around the town that we care for, and every year there are new plantings. It always amazes me, when I look at all the young plants in the nursery, how many of them find their way to the green spaces of Cambridge.
This year we have planted at the Pump Park, Riverview, the Swale adjacent to the expressway; Jane's Lane was started; there was more planting at Resthaven; in the new park next to our nursery, and a lot of infill planting in many of our other projects. All of these projects required maintenance; weeding and mulching. None of this would have been possible without the contribution of all our willing volunteers. Recently and probably over a well-deserved beer, one of our members worked out that our labour alone saved the Council $70 000 per year, and that was valuing us at $10 an hour, less than half the minimum wage.
There have been lot of other developments and changes. The Council altered our lease to include part of the horse paddock, which we developed into a much-needed carpark, and once again our volunteers showed their skills in areas away from their comfort zones, placing bollards and driving drilling machines. A very generous quote from Visionscapes meant that we were able to level and metal the area and re-metal the existing carpark, with help from Jumble Around. The Lions gave us money for a battery-powered chainsaw and a weedeater. These ar a boon as they are much quieter and safer than the old machines we had.
Thanks to Bruce and his helpers and the generosity of Mitre 10, the scruffy area behind the shade house is now a much-needed new shadehouse.
There are lots of people who work quietly behind the scenes doing the essential jobs that keep our organisation running. I would like to offer special thanks to these people: Joan, who keeps us fed and watered at morning tea and is my go-to person for all things about the Tree Trust; Neville, who has taken over the management of the Oak Arboretum; Peter, who has taken over the care of our finances; Mike, who keeps the sprinklers working and makes sure the rubbish goes out; David, who looks after our website and records our activities with his video camera; Conny, who, as secretary, deals with all sorts of weird and varied matters; Susan, who takes and keeps brilliant minutes,; Pete Fisher, who, in my unexpectedly long absence, ably took over the chairmanship. And last, Jan and Eric. I do not know where we would be without Jan's knowledge and Eric's management of the projects. What they do behind the scenes never ceases to amaze me. All of these people, and many others who have have willingly responded to my requests at various times have made my job a breeze, and I thank them very much.
Cambridge Tree Trust.
December 13th, 2022.
Monday, 22 November 2021
2021 has proven to be another trying year for everybody, covid-19 lockdowns have created a very challenging environment for us to continue the various projects that we had planned. However, once again your combined enthusiasm and hard work won the day.
Given our constantly-growing membership, we have been fortunate to have Waipa District Council allow us to double our parking area and thus remove the difficulties and dangers of roadside parking.
Entrance upgrade at the nursery, tree removal, and garden screening planted.
Wind cloth replaced.
Along Settlers' Track downstream of the low level bridge, on the Dominion Avenue side.
Plantings completed and follow-up maintenance carried out.
This planting covers the area between the Expressway and the walkway behind Saffron St. Planting has continued here, as has weed control and mulching.
Planting has begun on the approach road, with numerous on-going problems, largely relating to rabbits.
Planting the area next to the new Nursery carpark.
Continuation of plantings on the Swale.
The Riverview project below the low-level bridge on the Shakepeare St. side of the river.
Plantings on the Council land around the Gaslight theatre.
Again, I must thank you for all your enthusiasm, great humour and total commitment to the Tree Trust. This has resulted in beneficial nursery plant pproduction and a very sound financial position.
13th November 2020
2020 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
2020, WHAT A YEAR! Massive COVID-19 disruption, rapid membership growth, major planting projects and accordingly more maintenance commitments. Our normal autumnal planting program was severely curtailed by the COVID-19 lockdown, as a result boredom led to much creative individual activity, leading to our building upgrade and new layout in the nursery shed. Paramount to our need was to remove the potting mix from our” morning tea” zone, which has led to the very impressive “McCombs Rooms’ structure. Who would have thought that our potting mix zone could be rapidly consumed by morning tea tables.
Individuals desperate for action prompted the start of our new Swale project, a large area (adjacent to the motorway) enabling excellent social distancing while planting which, along with maintenance work, required on site morning teas, a hark back to the past when morning teas were taken in the field. COVID-19 and Lockdown could not deter the enthusiasm and exuberance of our members, WELL DONE TO YOU ALL.
Highlights of the Year:
• Completion of the Shed upgrade
• New Glasshouse (funded by the Frances Skeet Trust)
• Park seating (Maples and Oaks installed • McCombs Rooms (Potting Mix stowage).
• Karapiro planting project completed, (around the Canoe Center).
• Meadow walk 1 replanting.
• New Swale extension started.
• Pump Park (Camellia and shade Trees planted).
• Leamington Cemetery Camellia planting
• Thursday Group guffawing!
• Upgrade of Website and implementation of Facebook presence.
• Nursery Production. New Year Projects:
• Waikato River (Settlers Track) Plantings.
• Swale Extension plantings (800m long)
• Pump Park stage 2.
• Waipuke Park
Our cordial relationship with the Waipa District Council Parks and Reserve Team is ensuring ongoing planting schemes, which enables forward planning for the nursery team. A huge thank you to all our members for your selfless enthusiasm and commitment to Tree Trust (even wet days musters are massive). Our sound financial situation reflects the generosity of our community and enables us to continue with all our planned projects. Special thanks to our hard-working committee and planting team, who have led the way to a very satisfying and successful year.
Many thanks to you all.
Congratulations and thanks to you all for having survived a rather chaotic year under a very green chairman,
Firstly, I must thank Conny for the massive amount of work that she undertakes on our behalf as Secretary.
Thanks to Joan for an equally large workload raising funds, running the nursery and keeping us all fed and watered.
Thanks also to the Moodies- Jane for her inspirational articles on trees, and John for attempting to guide me through the Chairman's duties; and for time spent revising our Constitution.
Thanks to Greg, our Treaurer, for his patience and diligence,
Lastly, thank you all for your support and hard work throughout the year.
After a number of years of intensive planting, our focus for 2019 has had to be on the maintenance of our 26 existing projects. However, we have still managed to complete a number of plantings.
The Resthaven scheme has been finished after 4 years of development. This year saw 690 plants go into the Moon Spring project and the gardens below the villas.
At Karapiro, The National Canoe Centre plantings were begun, with Stages 1 & 2 completed, and Stage 3 to be prepared and planted in the New Year.
Payne Park bush extension has had more infil planting and is beginning to mature.
Smaller schemes include the Thornton Club, Leamington Park railway tunnel, Riverview infill and a small garden at a local preschool.
We had two very successful days supporting climate change awareness, which gave us much positive publicity, as did our involvement in the award to Cambridge as the Most Beatiful Large Town in NZ.
Ongoing maintenance on large projects such as the Oak Arboretum, Meadow Walk, the Maple Arboretum and Lola Sicock Park have been challenging but rewarding. Many thanks go to Neville for his huge input.
Special mention must be made of the Thursday maintenance team. Their hard labour has transformed the Rimu and Kahikatea groves, and their laughter will echo around Cambridge for some time.
Plans for the coming year are under discussion and will possibly include infil planting of the swale in Brian Mayo Park. Further additions to the swale depend on out discussions with Council. Karapiro Stage 3 will be completed, and improvements to our base structures are being considered. Park seats will be installed in the Oak and Maple Arboreta. This work is made possible by our sound financial position.
Many thanks to you all.
2018 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
Once again the Tree Trust has made outstanding progress. Our weekly volunteer membership is very strong and a delightful challenge occurs each Tuesday in trying to find sufficient tasks to keep the core of some 25 or more passionate volunteers busy. While we haven’t planted as many trees, shrubs and grasses this year, nudging just over 3000, we have taken on the task of clearing weeds on many of our former projects that Waipa District Council parks and reserves staff have not been able to keep tidy. A regular smaller group of volunteers now meet each Thursday morning and their task has largely become maintenance on WDC reserves around town. Next year I turn 80 and health challenges this year have lessened my work input. As a life member and having been a member since the Trust’s inception in 1992 I’ve done my bit and hence a new chairman is required.
There were many highlights in this year of consolidation and this lists some of them.
The Lola Silcock Park project is now in its 12th year and the tireless work here of Jan and Eric Todd in clearing weeds, spraying and mulching and planting has got to be commended. A wet winter has resulted in drainage issues in some areas that WDC will have to address. Jan and Eric modified some of our early planting, and this winter much new and infill planting was undertaken As with all our projects, ongoing maintenance is needed. Parts of this park look a picture and annual grants from the George Marshal Trust have helped with costs here and his passing earlier this year is noted.
The Meadow Walk project is now in its seventh year and the Waikato River Trust is featuring our work here in their annual report and magazine as an effective example of how their funding, in two grants of more than $50,000, has been successful. Their report is here:https://www.waikatoriver.org.nz/project-stories/the-meadow-walk-cambridge-tree-trust/
John and Jane Moodie have been superb with their passionate work here, and they have driven the well planned wet land development of MW5. We have undertaken much planting here in gumboots, and after spraying and mulching, this area is looking superb. After considerable pressure from us the WDC agreed that the Meadow Walk track needed upgrading and they undertook this task at some expense and now we have a very driveable all weather track.
The popular Lake Te Ko Utu is also proving a planting challenge, especially on steep sections. The weed growth here creates a dilemma, and with assistance from St Peters environment group some work has been done here. The proximity of the Camellia Walk to the Lakewood development and its potential encroachment is being closely monitored. The Lions grant of $2500 to purchase specimen trees for planting the steep bank at the lake must be progressed in 2019. The work of Jan and Eric Todd on Blackie’s Bank is superb, and that area is looking great.
In the nursery a group led by Bruce McComb has made ongoing improvements and we now have masses of sharpened stakes to support trees we plant in 2018 and beyond. Bruce has produced a new wheeled potting table and the regular Jumble Around grant helped defray our nursery expenses..Jan Todd, with her nursery experience has reorganised the plant naming and layout. With botanist Joan providing her germinating and cutting expertise, a large proportion of our plants are being produced at no costs other than voluntary passion and labour.
Very useful additions to the nursery have been the lockable cupboards for storage. a cold frame which came via Joan and was expertly crafted 2 by Roger Dean. The expertise and abilities of our large group of volunteers is a real strength of our organization.
The Oak Arboretum is complete and attracts much favourable comment. The addition of the Lovelock Oak sapling requires an explanatory panel in the future. Neville is IC weeds and pruning and his work here is outstanding. and much appreciated by the public and by us.
The Maple Arboretum is an ongoing project where the Community Board have provided some assistance, funding us for the purchase of maples and labeling materials. The first plantings here three years ago are starting to make a statement. Infill planting, spraying and mulching continues and we are lucky to have the support of Mainly Maples, as this project continues. The planning and work on this project is a credit to the passion and drive of the Todds, Moodies and Neville. Much public praise has resulted.
Payne Park has been retired from grazing and considerable work has been undertaken here to remove privet and gorse and get all the steep faces sprayed, mulched and intensively planted by our teams. Over 1000 plants have so far been located here. WDC has constructed a new track through this park and it now links with the main Te Awa track. The whole area is now mown by Council. Work here will provide us with challenges in the next few years.
Resthaven work is also ongoing. We received a $15,000 grant from the Bill and Joan Flower Trust with the proviso that it been spent in the Resthaven area. The new track to open up the Moon Spring has now been finished and this has opened up a large area for new planting. We have so far given Resthaven some 500 native plants which a resident of Resthaven has planted. I attended a key meeting of Resthaven Trust members and walked the new track and commented that our trust could undertake considerable work there with the assistance of the Flower grant. Jan, Jane and I have reviewed the plantings we have done there so far, and a 2019 plan is being drawn up to continue our work there. A key meeting with WDC is being held soon to propose a link to the Moon Spring track and enable public access. This whole area is an exciting project to be involved with, and will keep us busy for a few years.
Roger Dean and his team have been working for the last few years on the establishment of a Bluebell Dell in Anns Patch. Annually more bulbs are being added and the spring flowering display there is well worth a walk.
Under the guidance of Lesley MacDonald, the Thursday group planted some flowering cherries from Amber Nursery in Blackie’s Reserve. This initially was met with objections from some neighbors but was resolved with Community Board support. More recently all the groups of trees Blackie planted in this reserve have, with considerable effort, been thinned, pruned and weeded.
David Phillipps with the guidance of Chris Twemlow, an IT expert from All Things Web of Hamilton, has been working assiduously on our website and built up an ongoing history of our work. The website is being refined with regular updates. It is now very professional and that is gaining us much kudos
I compliment the small team that have met with WDC staff re protecting large trees of Cambridge. We are now considered to be an important participant in the process
Our planning for 2019 needs to be undertaken with the new management team, with the required plants accessed and being potted on. Our list of planting projects for next year will ensure we are kept busy.
Financially we are in a very sound position and credit here must go to Greg Liddy and our grants expert Joan McCathie, Donations regularly roll in as our public profile is strong and the work we have done around town greatly appreciated. Grants and support has been received from many sources.. We need to place on record the growing cooperation and support which we have received from the Waipa District Council and its staff in this last year. I thank Mitre 10 for the continued support of our monthly article in the Cambridge News which Jane Moodie researches and writes. A special thanks also to Hogans accountants for their continued support
An appeal to incoming management. Revamp and update the constitution, continue to write up the history of the trust and I offer to do this. Continue to work with passion and friendship as a total team to improve the parks, reserves and trees of Cambridge.