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We now have a Thursday group to supplement our Tuesday volunteers. 

We have been too successful for our own good. Waipa District Council can not get enough staff to do the maintenance required on our plantings so we have to do it ourselves. 

The Thursday group was started by Eric Todd last year, 2017. Some of the more able-bodied of us get together and spray and weed our plantings. The two big ones, Lola Silcock Park and the Meadow Walk, require a lot of maintenance as they are fairly new and their plants aren't big enough to keep weeds down, unlike our older plantings, which are fairly clean. This work supplements the Tuesday group's summer maintenance program. 

We spend 2-3 hours in the field, then adjourn to a cafe to put the world to rights over morning tea. 

 At Lake Te Ko Utu.

 At the Maple Arboretum.

 

Sometimes things don't go according to plan.

The Thursday group were in Lola Silcock Park, clearing out some over-crowded trees. The truck had been loaded the with prunings; everyone was standing around waiting for Pete and Eric to move their vehicles so that David could get the truck past them and take the load to Greenscapes. As everyone was chatting beside the truck, standing on the roadway, Pete came along in his jeep. He allowed a lot of room when he passed us, and that meant his right-hand side wheels went into the soggy, muddy drain beside the road. This was not a problem for the jeep- it just kept going. 

However, when it came to turning out of the gutter it was a different story. The side of the gutter was too steep and taller than the jeep wheels. Stuck! Solution - Pete reversed all the way back to his starting point and tried again. Same result! This time, the wheel rut in the soggy mud was deeper. He tried a few more times, each time with the same result - a deeper rut in the mud. He bulldozed a substantial pile of mud with the jeep's front bumper bar. At that point – the others insisted they pull him out. 

The only vehicle capable of doing it was the truck. John’s Surf was at the nursery. Joe produced a good rope, and the truck was hitched up. Even with the load on to give traction, the back wheels of the truck spun, but with a judicious combination of speed and power, Pete and his jeep emerged from the gutter.

The jeep was, without doubt, dirtier than it had been since 1943. Pete washed it at the nursery on the way to morning coffee before there were too many admirers of its mud pack.

 

 1. The truck has a load to give it traction.jpg

 

2. Hooked up, ready to go.jpg

 

3. Taking the strain.jpg

 

4. Have another go.jpg

 

The Rimu Grove

Maintenance 16.7.2020

Maple Maintenance

The Swale and the Truck

The Swale is a drainage system for stormwater off the adjacent housing subdivision. It was initially in an open field, but the Waikato Expressway now cuts through the field and runs alongside the deeper part of the ditch. The resulting bank is difficult to mow, for reasons that are evident in the video, so the Council asked us to plant it. This section is over a kilometre long, so we will be busy for some time. 

The Swale is an extension of the Maple Arboretum, and although no maples are visible in this video, they're not far away.

It was easy enough to get the truck in to position to pick up the debris from our removal of an invasive Asian grass. It was easy enough to turn the truck around with no more than a tight 3-point turn, Getting it out was a vey different matter. Waipa District Council's Parks Dept. staff came to the rescue with a sizeable tractor.

 

Mulching at Resthaven

We had weeded this area earlier, and needed to mulch it to keep it clear. Now that Summer is coming, we are severely restricted in the planting we can do, and therefore we do maintenance work until next May.

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  • Bank account for donations: Kiwibank, 38-9005-0635102-01

The 4-minute video below shows what we can do with your donations. Click the "play" arrow, then the "full screen" box at the bottom right of the  picture and the video will play in high definition.