Parks, reserves teams battle on


Timber! Contractors removed a dead chestnut tree overlooking Lake Te Koo Utu last week. 

The role volunteers play in assisting Waipā District Council at parks and reserves has been significantly constrained by Covid 19 restrictions.

Groups like the Cambridge Tree Trust, Predator Free Cambridge, Eco-FX and Kakepuku Mountain Conservation Project continue to help the council within the restrictions, Community Services acting manager Brad Ward told the Strategic Planning and Policy committee this week.

However voluntary weeding days were cancelled in October and November.

During the quarter from October 1 to December 31, the council removed 58 trees and pruned 733 trees as part of scheduled maintenance.

“With Covid-19 Alert Level changes to the traffic light system, both the Cambridge and Te Awamutu Park Operations teams have managed work in multiple bubbles to help with business continuity to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 through the community,” said Ward.

There have also been track slips at Lake Te Koo Utu, caused by movement of the banks around the lake in the sandy soil.

The Cambridge Tree Trust at the organisation’s regular meeting with Waipā District Council Parks Operation team leader Matt Johnston (at rear, socially distanced). Also pictured are Jane Moodie, Joan McCathie, Eric Todd, Peter Fisher and John Moodie. 

At Te Awamutu Memorial Park, contractors are completing minor pathway repairs while others are fixing the fencing at the netball courts caused by storm damage.

All this work has continued despite several staff vacancies.

“The Cambridge Parks team is still finding it difficult to recruit for multiple vacancies. The work programme and staff roles have been adjusted during this time to ensure high profile site maintenance is maintained to appropriate levels of service.”

In Te Awamutu, the council wants to fill a vacant parks operator role but is also finding it difficult, said Ward.

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