What is now the park was a dumping ground for industrial waste, including blocks of concrete, steel, and truck tyres. The vegetation was a mixture of gorse, blackberry, assorted exotic trees and shrubs, all held together with convolvulus.
With the aid of Paul Garland's earth-moving machinery, the park area was cleared and planting began. The project was started in 2008 and was planned to last 5 years, though there is a need for on-going maintenance. Some Fonterra staff proved very helpful. The photos below show them hard at work.
An extension of the park joins up with work done by Cambridge Primary School on their land, and forms the Stanaway Reserve.
Climate Change and carbon dioxide at 400 parts per million have done wonders for plant growth. Here are sone photos of the park after roughly 10 years of growth. Plantings were made at various times, but 10 years is a good average figure.
Marlow Drive plantings were commenced in June 2003. The area borders Gill Lumb Park on the east and along on the southern side of the river. The area was cleared and plantings done on the 27th June 2003 in the rain.
A feature of this project has been the involvement of the residents of Marlow Drive.
A second area was cleared during the first quarter of 2004, and with clearing done by the Corrections Department a walking track was built and a second area cleared.
This area was planted out over the weekend of 27th June 2004.
The Meadow Walk now goes past it.
Riverview Park is now almost complete (July 2016).
It needs only a bit of infill planting, and maintenance until its plants grow bigger. More gum trees will be felled from time to time by the Council, largely to stop them falling into the river. The soil here is very sandy and loose, and doesn't hold big trees very well. We will do further planting as the gums are felled. Bamboo has also been a major problem.
Planting here is as complete as we can get it. There is still some bamboo to deal with, and we will not plant in its vicinity as potent sprays will be used to kill it. As the Council fells more gum trees, we will plant more suitable species in their place.
The Waipa District Council refers to this park as Ferguson Park, as the nearby low-level bridge is known officially as the Ferguson Bridge.
We have made our first planting of 2022. It's a bit early, since reliable rain doesn't come until the end of April as a rule, though with climate change ramping up, anything could happen this year.
The new subdivisions in Cambridge that are on flat land have drainage problems, and a swale is a means of dealing with stormwater. Being an open drain, it lends itself to planting along its edges, and this is what has happened here. For a long time, we referred to it simply as "The Swale."
Brian Mayo did a huge amount of work on this reserve, and for the Tree Trust in general. He was a founding member, and was Chairman for about 18 years. After his death in 2013 we decided to name the reserve in his honour, and the Waipa District Council agreed.
View Brian Mayo Reserve in a larger map
The Kauri Grove was planted by the Rotary Club of Cambridge to celebrate 50 years of Community service to Cambridge and the district.
There were some 30 trees are in this grove, but several died during the drought in the summer of 2012-13. As a result, the Waipa District Council is actively managing the plantation. The location is not ideal for kauri, and Cambridge is at their southern limit anyway. Replacement is uncertain.
On the bank below the Kauri Grove fronting on to the Waikato River, two major plantings were done by the Tree Trust in 2002 and 2004. In 2004, over 300 shrubs of all types were planted with much help from Year 9 Cambridge High School science classes. These merge into the Soldiers' Track, as does the Kauri Grove essentially.
These walks are completely different from those described earlier in our list. Here we're into groomed grass and picnic areas. Parking, a barbeque and toilets are available at its eastern end off Albert St.