Lisa’s Wish Charitable Trust Camp—13-15 January 2017
Lisa’s Wish Charitable Trust (LWCT) is an organisation conceived by the late Lisa Knapman-Smith, a wife and mother who passed away from cancer in 2009. Lisa’s vision was that the Trust would provide support and activities for children whose parents or caregivers have been diagnosed with cancer.
Since January 2015, we have been hosting weekend summer camps for LWCT participants who have created the Lisa’s Wish Grove at CUE Haven. The Grove is near the entrance to the property and virtually all visitors to CUE Haven use the walking track through the Grove that the participants have built and improved.
This weekend we hosted the third camp for LWCT young adults and some of their friends. The group arrived on Friday afternoon and included Caitlyn, Jayden, Matthew, Nikita, and Tahnee. The camp leaders were Juliet Ireland and LWCT trustee Ian Knapman-Smith.
We got acquainted over a snack and gave the group a welcome and an overview of the CUE Haven project and a safety briefing.
They then unpacked and we went for a walk to the Lisa’s Wish Grove where we discussed the plan for the weekend.
The first and biggest job was to make some improvements to the Lisa’s Wish Grove walking track, the second was to prune back vegetation that had grown over the boardwalk.
A large portion of the Lisa’s Wish Grove is in the wetlands and the walking track has been built on both firm ground and one section is a bridge over a wet section. As visitors use the track, we find ways to improve it and the two things we wanted to accomplish this weekend were (1) fixing the steps at the entrance to the Grove to make them easier to use and (2) extending the boardwalk bridge to link up to the existing wetlands boardwalk and to eliminate an inconvenient step.
The team spent some time on Friday looking over the track and coming up with solutions to the different challenges.
They went to work early Saturday morning and quickly made a lot of progress. The group broke into two teams, one tackled the entry steps and the other worked on the boardwalk section.
Fixing the entry steps involved two main tasks—boxing in the sides and making the steps less high. This involved a lot of digging:
And then careful measuring:
Using the measurements, boards were cut to box in the sides of the new steps.
The boards were secured with pegs and nailed into place.
The result is a set of entry steps that are easier to use and better looking!
The team found another set of steps that they wanted to improve. One of the issues was that because of the slope of the ground and the water runoff, there was a potential for erosion. To fix the problem, they dug out a section of the bank and built a retaining wall to hold it in place.
The team used a post hole digger to make the holes for the retaining wall posts.
And then cemented the posts in the holes and attached the planks to create a retaining wall.
Connecting the Lisa’s Wish boardwalk to the main wetlands boardwalk was a challenging job. First the team had to determine how to build the connecting section.
It was necessary to cut the supporting boards to size to install them and the team had to carefully check their measurements and levels.
They dug out channels where the supporting beams would be installed.
The supporting frames were then nailed into place.
The team decided to take a break from track work and they spent some time trimming vegetation on the main boardwalk.
They then went back to finishing off the boardwalk sections and installing the top planks.
The final task was installing the wire mesh on all the new sections of the boardwalk to make them safer for walking on when wet.
We really enjoyed working with the team and really appreciated their enthusiasm and dedication. You can see what they accomplished with these before and after pictures.
It is fantastic to have the Lisa’s Wish boardwalk joined up with the main wetlands boardwalk.
Congratulations! An absolutely amazing accomplishment considering the short time the team was at CUE Haven.
The Lisa’s Wish boardwalk is a great addition to CUE Haven and a wonderful legacy to the memory of the late Lisa Knapman-Smith.
We want to thank LWCT trustee Rosemarie Knapman-Smith for all her efforts with organising the camp and her on-going support.
Our heartfelt thanks to Ian and Juliet for all their hard work and leadership which helped make this camp so successful.
And a BIG thank you to the participants. We enjoyed meeting and working with you all and thank you so much for all of your hard work on a very hot weekend! You have made a significant contribution to Lisa’s Wish Grove and to the CUE Haven project. The track and bridge you built will last for many, many years and will enable visitors an opportunity to explore the wetlands and Lisa’s Wish Grove comfortably and safely.
We wish you all the very best with your studies and do look forward to having you all back again to visit us.