On Sunday people gathered at the Karituwhenua Stream Walkway Reserve to recognise the achievements of the Landcare Group’s former chairman.
The event was attended by Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst and Councillor Malcolm Dixon, other council members, Hastings Lions and members of the volunteer Landcare Group, that maintains the reserve.
The event was held to dedicate a picnic table donated by HDC and a park bench seat donated by Hastings Lions in recognition of the work that former chairman Dougal French contributed to the reserve and to Lions over many years.
Dougal died on August 15 last year.
He had been the chairman of the Karituwhenua Stream Landcare Group for more than 20 years and the key person who enabled this group to become a registered charity in 2002 and the first urban Landcare group registered in New Zealand.
The reserve has been transformed from a stream gully full of rubbish and weeds into a well-maintained reserve with formed walkways, picnic areas, many native trees and abundant bird life.
This reserve has now become a significant asset to Havelock North and is held in high esteem by HDC as an example for other similar groups to be formed.
Regular users of the reserve include walkers, with or without dogs, and pre-school groups.
The Landcare Group has a pool of about 20 men who maintain the reserve with regular work mornings every Friday. Main access to the reserve is off Te Mata Road near Kingsgate Avenue with other entrances off Reeve Drive and Fulford Place.
Dougal was also a leading figure within Lions and led several fundraising projects for Lions over the years. He was also principal of Havelock North Primary School for many years.
■ Photos of the dedication are in the next edition of Village Press.
Honouring Dougal French’s work.