Whakaipo Bay has been chosen as one of seventeen sites New Zealand wide to host a major community planting event during the Rugby World Cup 2011 as part of Living Legends—an initiative that will combine and celebrate both rugby and conservation.
Each planting event is dedicated to a local rugby legend who has been nominated by their provincial rugby club. The Whakaipo Bay planting will take place on Sunday 18 September. Mark the date in your calendar now to join the King Country’s rugby legend, Colin Meads, to plant 5000 trees on the shore of Lake Taupo.
Community stakeholders have already gathered at the planting site to start planning for the event. The diverse groups united in the love of native trees and rugby are Ngati Tuwharetoa, the Taupo Rugby World Cup committee, the King Country Rugby Union, the Department of Conservation, Bike Taupo, and the Taupo Girl Guides.
Whakaipo Bay has been described by Living Legends project manager Devon McLean as “one of the most stunning locations that Living Legends will be helping to restore”.
The local community groups are already recruiting tree planters. The Taupo Girl Guides have been involved with the native tree plantings at Whakaipo since the first planting 21 years ago. Traditionally the girls have cooked 200 sausages after the plantings. This year we may be asking the girls to double their work to cook a few hundred more, but Guide leader Denise George is not worried, reminding us that, “girls can do anything”.
Living Legends will stay committed to the restoration of Whakaipo Bay by donating a further 5000 native plants over the next five years. The Department of Conservation aims to retire another two gullies from grazing into native trees.
Living Legends is a joint venture between Project Crimson and The Tindall Foundation. The Department of Conservation is a major sponsor along with Meridian Energy.