Forest Pools Picnic Area is a popular site with locals and tourists, especially in summer. But a series of unpleasant incidents have resulted in the local community coming together to better manage the area.
The Te Mauri o Waihou roopu was formed earlier this year, after concerns about poor treatment of the area. The roopu, representing tangata whenua, are working with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to improve the overall health of the Waipapa River and Puketi Forest and the visitor experience of the picnic site.
One of the first decisions made by the roopu and DOC was to close the campsite.
"Forest Pools is a beautiful spot. It's close to Highway 1, so it's easy to get to, but it's this easy accessibility that led to some people disrespecting the area. Te Mauri o Waihou is glad to be working with DOC to improve the site and get that whanau feeling back at Forest Pools Picnic Area," said the Te Mauri o Waihou roopu.
Future plans include upgrading the toilets, ongoing landscaping and construction of a designated parking area. A community planting day is planned for the morning of August 11, following a successful planting day with the Okaihau College and Primary School last year.
"These small seedlings will grow into forest giants that future generations will enjoy. This is a great chance to muck in and improve the area and we'd like to encourage everyone to come along and get involved," said Dan O'Halloran, DOC Ranger Pewhairangi Bay of Islands.
Join the planting day at 9:30 am on Tuesday August 11. Contact Dan O'Halloran DOC Pewhairangi Bay of Islands +64 9 407 0311, email email@example.com.