In the midst of the bad weather that has swept New Zealand over the last few day,; the “Weather Gods” looked kindly down on a group of Lions and helpers as the last 500 New Zealand native canopy trees were planted at the Lions Tree Grove at TECT All Terrain Park in the Bay of Plenty.
Postponements and prayers were the order of the day as we crept closer to the scheduled date of planting, 20 September. The inclement weather pushed the drilling of the holes for the trees ever closer to the cut-off time; the decision was made at the last moment to drill the holes on Saturday 20th and we would plant on Sunday 21st whatever the weather. Whilst offloading the trees at 8am we stood in sunshine saying this is “what we hoped for, so let’s go for it”. Splitting the helpers into two groups working from each end of the site we achieved our goal within hours and celebrated with a hearty cheer (above) before trooping off to find a hot cuppa and a sausage with onions, sizzling on the barbecue. A pleasant time was spent talking and unwinding before the aches in our bones told us that we had done something more than the usual.
The clearing up done, we wended our way home and as we left the park the rain came over and watered the trees for us - and so ended a great day.
Our next target is the work on the tracks and the other challenge, which is weeding.
“Thanks, Lions from around the Rotorua/Tauranga area, for your help - and we mustn’t forget the other helpers who gave of their time, we certainly appreciate your efforts,” says Trev Hawkins, chairman of the Lions Tree Grove Committee.