Celebrations for friends of bush

Jan Silvester reports on a special day at Pukemokemoke.

It was a beautiful afternoon at the David Johnstone Pukemokemoke Bush Reserve at Tauhei on a recent Saturday.

Kath Des Forges opens the shelter. Center, John McCraw, Coralie Fulton and Graham Jones.

A large crowd had gathered to see all the new walking tracks that had been made by the Friends of Pukemokemoke and for the dedication of the new covered picnic table funded by Kath Des Forges, in memory of her husband Brooke, the original chairperson of the bush trust.

Thousands of hours of work had gone into turning the river flats, which used to be an impenetrable jungle of privet, into large grassy areas surrounded by native forest trees and shrubs.

It was also an occasion to award a certificate to Mantez Singh-Thandi for being Pukemokemoke Volunteer of the Year.

Over the past two years he had worked at the reserve on nearly every work day as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award.

Alan Leadley presents the certificate to Mantez

There was a delicious picnic barbecue, an orienteering/treasure hunt, lolly scramble and tractor rides for the kids, a climb to the look-out for the energetic and a lot of talk about how so many people had been so generous with their time and energy to transform the place into a wonderful destination for the public.

If you haven’t been to the reserve on the Tauhei Road beside the quarry, go and see what a special place it is.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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