Volunteers plant 1000's of trees at Totara Park
Over 20,000 plants accompany new MTB trails
Late July 2012 saw more great volunteer efforts at Auckland's Totara Park with over 20 locals and riders taking part in a morning of tree planting around the new DIC MTB Trail.
DIC and the other new trail (called Zebzag) began life in early 2012 piggy backing on restoration work at Totara Park where areas identified as feeding water to the Puhinui Stream are being fenced off from cattle damage (and hence water contamination) and being planted with native fauna to help stablise the land and regenerate the area closer to how it was before farming and urbanisation. The new trails have been welcomed by local riders who have travelled countless kilometres on the current 12km of trail that form the Totara Park MTB Network. They are a little narrower than the existing trails, having been primarily built by volunteers who have put their hands up eager to see the network expanded.
And as part of that volunteer work, some of the locals were keen to lend a hand in the fauna restoration part of the project and so on an overcast but dry winter's morning a few hardy lads turned up early to get a head start on boring holes for the 1600+ plants that were the target for the day.
Allen Pope the head contractor was on hand to show the lads how it was done - Allen and his crew, the contractors hired by Auckland Council to conduct the planting, had already planted over 14,000 plants in this one area! Wow, what a sight it will be in the coming years.
By the time Marty, Gabb and Hayden had dug in several hundred holes, the volunteers started showing up. We saw young and old from pretty little six year old Lily Gabbitas to veteran volunteer and legend of the Puhinui Reserve/Te Araroa project John Smith who at 84 years old has been slowed down a little bit by a torn tendon but was on hand full of energy to share thoughts and plans around linking the Totara Park trails to Puhinui Reserve and beyond (just think: land at Auckland Airport and ride to Manukau City all off-road..!? Yeah!).
Generational Gernmination - Mum Debs and daughter Maia (sporting their cool new gumboots!) get busy feeding seedlings with a little fertiliser before packing them in for a long life at Totara Park. Maia was counting and planted 72 all on her own!
As the keen workers toiled away, several riders sped by enjoying the new trail and some of the crew behind the trail design/build took the opportunity to review areas that might need a little more work - extra drainage, widening a few tight turns and berming a few curves to help the flow.
This sort of work can build a big appetite and thanks to the Auckland Mountainbike Club, muesli bars and bananas were on hand to keep energy levels at a premium.
Before you could say deraileur failure, all the plants had been given their new homes and so those still on site headed down to The Hub at the center of the trails for a yummy barbeque, also thanks to the Auckland Mountainbike Club.
It was great to see everyone in good spirits and much banter ensued and MTB stories shared over a hot sausage and a cold one.
Many thanks to Allen and his 2 staff who made sure the volunteers were properly kitted out and doing the right thing. And to those that gave their Saturday morning to this fine community effort, well done!
Let's do it again!
If you would like to be involved in the further development and care of the Totara Park trail facilities, or just be keep up with the news, register for our Totally Totara email newsletter here and make sure you keep an eye on Totally Totara, the dedicated Facebook page for Totara Park that is run by cyclewaynewzealand.co.nz pal Idle Idol. We want this great asset for Auckland (inner city MTB trails at last!) to grow and reflect the wishes of the users and we can only do that by keeping the lines of communication running.