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A 21st birthday celebration at CUE Haven—30 July 2017

July 31, 2017
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We finished up our 2017 planting season on a high note with an extra special planting day.

Back in May we were contacted by Mildred, who is celebrating her 21st birthday in early August.  Rather than have a party at a pub, Mildred wanted to do something extra special and meaningful.  Mildred heard about CUE Haven from her sister, Melanie, who had been out to CUE Haven to plant trees with the Air NZ Greenteam, and contacted us for a day of tree planting for herself and her friends.

The very enthusiastic group arrived at around ten and included Mildred and friends Ady, David, Dianca, Hanna, Jason, Jessica, Juliet, Lizanne, Louis, Neeharika, Noubelle, Praveen, Rhea and Shevonee.  Also joining us for the celebrations later in the day were Mildred’s family Angela, Christine, Melanie and Matthew.

It was a cold but sunny day and we started out with morning tea outdoors.  Mahrukh gave a welcome and an introduction to the CUE Haven project and Thomas gave a description of the work planned for the day and a safety briefing.

The plan for the day was to do three distinct planting activities.  First, to plant some kauri trees in a section of mature bush where our existing kauris are located, then to do some infill planting of kahikatea, kowhai, matai, pigeonwood, puriri and taraire in the area initially planted in 2013 and finally to plant a birthday celebration tree for Mildred.   Each of the plantings was in a different part of the property so we moved around a bit.

We don’t plant many kauri because of our concerns over kauri dieback disease and when we do, we try to plant them in an area that gets almost no traffic so that the trees won’t be disturbed.  We also take extra precautions to protect the trees and we had everyone clean and spray their boots and shoes with Trigene, a disinfectant, before entering the planting area.

The group broke into teams and planted the kauris.  The area will someday become a beautiful kauri grove.

The planting required a lot of teamwork!

Once all the kauri were planted, we went down to the 2013 planting area and went to work planting the infill trees.  It was a bit of a challenge because the pioneer trees have grown up nicely and finding light wells to plant the trees in took some exploring.

Despite the challenges, the team coped well and planted all the trees we had for them and by the end of the planting, they were right at home in the bush!

Mildred then planted the last tree—a blue totara to commemorate her 21st birthday.  We found a nice spot close to the cottage but still overlooking the Harbour.

The team then walked back down and cleaned up before lunch.

Mildred’s family had brought along a nice celebration lunch which everyone thoroughly enjoyed after all the hard work planting the trees.

We then went for a leisurely walk so that everyone could see more of the CUE Haven property (and work up an appetite for birthday cake!)

We then celebrated Mildred’s upcoming birthday with a cake and singing.

It was a great end to a fantastic day.

We’d like to thank Mildred for coming up with the idea of a planting party.  And a big thank you to Mildred’s family, Angela, Melanie, Matt and Christine who helped out with arrangements and organized the lunch and cake and party decorations.

And we especially want to thank Mildred and her hard working friends who did a great job of planting.

Mildred, we wish you a very happy birthday and much happiness and success in all your future endeavours.

We were very impressed with you and your friends and really enjoyed working with you and getting to know you all.  It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet such an interesting, diverse, talented group of people and we know you will all continue to have a positive impact on the world. The trees you planted will live for hundreds of years and you all have made a major contribution not only to CUE Haven but to the planet.  We hope you will keep coming back to see how your trees are growing and to enjoy the CUE Haven forest.

Thank you and Happy Birthday Mildred!!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Pauline Lowe permalink
    July 31, 2017 9:36 pm

    Wow – what a great story!!

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