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New educational signage at Tirohanga

By Selwyn Yeoman

A Rocha Dunedin gathered at Tirohanga Camp on Saturday July 22nd for the first time this winter. 21 people participated in total. There were a number of newcomers brought by friends, which is always encouraging. Also encouraging is that everybody really enjoyed themselves!

About 40 more trees were planted. Fewer than usual, but we’d not made a funding application to Trees That Count for this season. We had a very conversational lunch together, enhanced by home made vegetable soup and other baking suitable for a winter day; Rev Michael Holdaway, a recent arrival in Dunedin and newcomer to our projects led a really fitting liturgy connecting into Matariki; and we began siting our recently completed signage of a selection of native trees. These were funded by the Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Southland, and the illustrations were prepared by Sandra Morris, a highly regarded nature writer and artist recently awarded an ONZM for her work. The plates are absolutely magnificent. An added feature is the inclusion of QR codes so that walkers with a phone can immediately access much more information from the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network site.

We plan to be back at Tirohanga in September for a family fun day. Our usual conservation work is not very child friendly – lugging trees and spades up hills in long wet grass! But we hope to plan a picnic event that will introduce younger members to the bush walk, set up some more of our signs, explore the stream and its creatures, plant in some more easily accessible places, experiment with some art work, play some games, and perhaps have some other fun as well.