AGM 2015 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
and Spring 2015 newsletter
2015 has been an outstanding year for the Cambridge Tree Trust in which there were many highlights. Our core group of more than 20 volunteers meets each Tuesday. A feature of this 2015 group has been their passion, enthusiasm and the wide ranging skills they bring to Tree Trust work. They continue to make a huge difference to the Cambridge landscape as this year we have planted in excess of 8,000 plants, mostly natives. This group of active environmental enthusiasts have made our 24th year of life an exceptional one. Future planning for projects in 2016 and beyond has been a very positive feature of our work in the second half of the year and with the current suggestions on hand we will never run out of things to do.
There were many highlights in 2015 and this lists some of them.
- Continued work at Lola Silcock Park
- Full nursery of 12,000 growing-on plants for 2016
- Year 4 of the Meadow Walk project
- Replanting of Lake Te Ko Utu banks
- Close co-operation with Waipa District Council
- Ongoing work with many schools
- Maple Arboretum project
- Oak Arboretum fine tuning.
- Planning for riparian planting of Riverview.
- Trees for Birds and Bees project
- Successful grant applications
- Continued fine tuning and updating of our excellent website.
The Lola Silcock Park project is in its seventh year and nearing completion. Much fine tuning and maintenance is now needed here and Jan Todd is now supervising this special area. Her map summary clearly lays out what needs to be done in future. Regular maintenance sessions are planned with plant replacement, pruning, mulching and weed maintenance taking place annually for some time yet. It has become a special area, is well used by the public and presents a variety of attractively planted landscapes close to the centre of Cambridge.
Our nursery work has taken on a new emphasis this year with trays of seeds gathered last summer being successfully germinated over winter by Joan McCathie and we now have a huge number of trays of pricked out plants growing on in our shade house. Renga renga and grasses dominate. Leslie Wood our green fingered cutting expert has been equally successful and we are now working through the potting-on of some 35 trays of rooted cuttings. Over the spring period our nursery work has been full-on each Tuesday, transplanting, weeding and potting-on 1000’s of plants. We have been indebted to the support from local nurseries like Anntons who have been very supportive of Cambridge Tree Trust work with many low cost native trees, shrubs, grasses and flax which have been potted-on in the nursery for later planting out. At any one time in the Tree Trust Nursery there are in excess of 15,000 plants being grown from eco-sourced seed, cuttings or root trainer purchases The annual stock take in October revealed that we are in good shape with our 2016 planting needs.
The Meadow Walk project linking the River Gardens subdivision with Fletcher Place and the Poets Track is now in its fourth year and is looking a picture. Jane and John Moodie have become the planners and drivers of this project and Stage 3 is looking so good. The more difficult steep Stage 4 bank will provide a challenge next year. The whole riverbank area is being progressively planted each year and follows the banks of the Waikato River, winding through grazed reserve land. It has become a popular walkway and the four years of planting here have astounded Its users. Under the drive, energy and leadership of John and Jane Moodie many thousands of plants went into the ground this year. The planting and mulching of this ongoing project could not have occurred without the support of school groups from Cambridge High and St Peters School, and the weekly work of Correction Department teams. The scale of this project is the biggest ever undertaken by the Trust and ongoing maintenance, weed control by spraying, then mulching, is proving a challenge. The public orchard and wild-flower sections also give this walkway a unique character.
The ever popular Lake Te Ko Utu is also proving a planting challenge as sections of the steep banks where tall unstable very large gums were cleared now require replanting. We are working closely with the Parks and Reserve staff of the Waipa District Council to source, purchase, then grow on in our nursery the 1000’s of plants needed annually for this area.. This year after Arbor Day the public were invited to join us each Saturday morning and within a month in excess of 5000 plants were growing there. Correction Department teams have also done some exceptional work here planting, staking, weeding and spreading mulch.
A new project this year has been the Maple Arboretum. With a $1000 grant from the Community Board we have established Stage 1 of a maple arboretum in the Brian (Blackie) Mayo Reserve. This first stage of 44 mulched, staked and labeled maples has already attracted positive public comments. The planning and execution of this exciting new project has been driven by the Todd and Moodie families, and Jan Todd's excellent plan for Stage 2 in 2016 has been shown to Max Ward at Waipa district Council’s Parks and Reserves department, and accepted.
The 20 year old Oak Arboretum is now being developed further with the tree surrounds being removed, which is a huge and challenging undertaking for Correction Department teams. Eventually the plan is for the 20 oak species which have been planted in groups to be named with labelled posts and a truckload of mulch spread around each tree. With its walkways and mown surface it will become an attractive park for public use.
In keeping with our constitution statement we continue to work closely with young people and Scouts, Guides and many primary school groups have, with our guidance, assisted us in planting new areas.
Our website is being fine tuned, improved and updated constantly under the eagle eye of David Phillipps and his advisor Chris Twemlow, an IT specialist from All Things Web in Hamilton. It is an outstanding record of our work and quite informative and inspirational to check out.
Financially we are in a very sound position and credit here must go to the outstanding work of our treasurer 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 have been received this year from Hewett Trust, Trust Waikato, the Community Board, Cambridge Union Parish Shop, George Marshall Trust, Rotary, Lions, Jumble Around, W.R. Silcock and HEB to name a few. We need to place on record the growing cooperation and support which we have received from the Waipa District Council and its staff. The work of Secretary Leslie Wood is greatly commended and I thank her for keeping us all on track. My thanks also go to the core group whose energy, enthusiasm and friendship each week makes the weekly challenge of organising work routines for you all a joy.
Don Willoughby (Chairman) 10. 11. 15