Re­serve group hon­ours founder

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

A cel­e­bra­tion was held in the Kar­ituwhenua Stream Walk­way Re­serve on Sun­day Au­gust 26 to recog­nise the ded­i­ca­tion of Dou­gal French, the ini­tial con­venor of the group set up to de­velop the re­serve.

The group is known as the Kar­ituwhenua Stream Land­care Group, an in­cor­po­rated and reg­is­tered char­ity.

The group had its be­gin­nings back in 1992 when lo­cal res­i­dents be­came con­cerned with ero­sion within the stream gully af­fect­ing some pri­vate prop­er­ties.

Ini­tial plant­ings to con­trol this ex­panded to cover larger ar­eas and fi­nally in 1996 a work­ing group of lo­cal res­i­dents was or­gan­ised to un­der­take se­ri­ous planned clear­ance and plant­ing work.

From this time Dou­gal was a key leader and or­gan­iser.

In 2003 the group be­came in­cor­po­rated and in 2007 a reg­is­tered char­ity.

Dou­gal was the elected con­venor from 2003 and held this of­fice un­til his re­tire­ment from the po­si­tion in 2016.

He was an in­spir­ing leader, or­gan­is­ing work­ing par­ties ev­ery week, ob­tain­ing plants, sev­eral 1000 over the years, main­tain­ing and hous­ing all equip­ment that the group had ac­quired.

His com­mit­ment to the re­serve was marked by the gift­ing of a park bench from Hast­ings Lions and a pic­nic ta­ble from Hast­ings District Coun­cil.

The cel­e­bra­tion was at­tended by ap­prox­i­mately 80 peo­ple , the French Fam­ily, Mayor San­dra Ha­zle­hurst, Coun­cil­lor Mal­colm Dixon, Hast­ings Lions — Dou­gal was also a Lions Mem­ber — mem­bers of the Kar­ituwhenua Stream Land­care Group and pub­lic.

The re­serve com­mences from Te Mata Road, near Kings­gate Av­enue, and fol­lows the Kar­ituwhenua Stream up to­wards Te Mata Peak for about 800m.

Formed lime sand path­ways ex­tend the full length with some stepped ar­eas.

Ini­tially the area is a nar­row stream gully but pro­gres­sively widens out to a large grassed ar­eas.

The lower area is mainly in na­tive veg­e­ta­tion, while the up­per area is in ex­otic species.

There is a small grove of red wood trees, planted in the 1930s and sev­eral oak trees planted in the 1880s.

Plen­ti­ful na­tive bird life in­cludes tu¯ ı¯i, kereru¯ , bell­bird and more­pork. Vis­i­tors and lo­cals en­joy the re­serve’s peace­ful­ness and con­sider it to be a “hid­den gem” of Have­lock North.

The re­serve is main­tained by a vol­un­teer group, the Kar­ituwhenua Stream Land­care Group, and re­lies on do­na­tions, with oc­ca­sional as­sis­tance from Hast­ings District and Hawke’s Bay Re­gional Coun­cils, to main­tain and con­tinue its work in the re­serve.

Bar­bara French and her mum Edith French. Dur­ing a ded­i­ca­tion gath­er­ing in the Kar­ituwhenua Stream Walk­way Re­serve in Have­lock North to recog­nise the achieve­ments of previous chair­man Dou­gal French.

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