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The Warehouse Group—5 December 2019

December 6, 2019

The Warehouse Group is New Zealand’s largest retailer.  They have a strong commitment to people and the environment and today we were very happy to have a group of professionals from the Insights and Data Science Team out to help us with some track maintenance work.

The group arrived bright and early and included Andrew, Anis, Bergen, Cherrie, Chris, Courtney, Heike, Karl, Karla, Keryn, Kevin, Lucile, Luke, Maria, Mathew, Sabrina, Sarah and Suzie.   Also joining us for the day was our good friend and regular volunteer, Alan, who also brought along his son David and friend Simon.

We spent some time getting acquainted over morning tea and because most of the team was new to CUE Haven, Mahrukh then gave an overview of the CUE Haven project and our current activities and plans.

Thomas gave a safety briefing and overview of the work plan for the day.

The plan for the day was to work on a variety of improvements to an old section of walking track.  Other teams have been upgrading the track and we wanted to continue that work. Once in the field, we carried all the gear down to the work site and went to work.

Because of the size of the group, we broke into three teams.  Two teams worked on widening a long section of track and the third team worked to install railings on a set of steps a little further up the same track.

The long section of track needed side boards to protect against erosion.  There were also some steps that were not well aligned.  Because we were working in a small area, people moved around between teams to help out with different tasks.

The first task was to study the track issues and come up with creative solutions.

Once they decided on the new layout for the track, they marked it with string and then dug out channels for the side boards.

As the channels were cut out, they could bring down the boards.

The boards were cut to size to match the contours of the track.

And the boards were placed in position and secured with pegs and nails.

As they finished a section, they moved down the track, digging out the sides of the track and fitting in new boards.

The hard working team made so much progress, we had to go down to get more timber.

It took a lot of teamwork to line up some of the boards.

They worked down both sides of the track simultaneously, digging out channels for the side boards and installing them and accomplished an amazing amount of work.

While part of the group worked on widening and lining the track, part tackled several sections of steps on the track.  Several of them were uneven and out of line and the group decided to fix them before putting on side boards.

They first measured and checked the layout, deciding the best way to align the steps.

They decided that some of the old steps needed to be removed and repositioned and that some new steps also needed to be installed.

As they aligned the steps, they were able to install side boards.

The boards needed to be cut to size and on the right angle to allow for the slope of the steps.

The repositioned steps and new side boards were fixed in place with pegs and nails.

This section of track is much better now–it is a fantastic improvement and the team should be very proud of their efforts.

The third team worked to install railings on some steps leading down to another track by the CUE Haven stream.  It was a challenging job because the steps go around a curve.

They measured the steps to determine how may posts they would need and then dug the post holes.

While the holes were dug, we went down to get the posts, rails and concrete.

Digging the holes was a real challenge.  In addition to tree roots they also had to contend with hard sandstone as the steps lead down to the stream.

Once the holes were finished they could cement the poles in place.

The posts were carefully positioned and aligned.

Getting the posts in was a major undertaking and is the most difficult part of putting in railings.  Future teams will install the rails to finish off the job.

The last task we asked the group to tackle was to put down a layer of gravel on a section of track that had been completed earlier by another team.  We went down and loaded up metal in empty buckets.

We drove the full buckets as close to the track as we could and the group carried them down to the site.

Two people at the end of the track raked and smoothed the gravel as the team dumped it on the track.

They brought back all the empty buckets and other gear.

In just a few hours the team made major improvements to the CUE Haven tracks.  Have a look at what they accomplished.

Finished metaling:

Finished track and steps:

Posts in place, ready for rails:

Thanks to everyone’s hard work the tracks got an amazing makeover within a few hours.  When we were finished, the team then packed up all the gear and took a leisurely walk back to the cottage for a well-deserved lunch.

Many thanks to Keryn and Chris for organizing The Warehouse Group visit.

And thank you to Alan, David and Simon for joining us today.  We really appreciate your help.

And a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone for all their hard work and efforts today. It was really nice meeting you and we thoroughly enjoyed working with you.  You have all made a major contribution to CUE Haven and your efforts will be greatly appreciated by visitors as they comfortably walk the tracks to explore the growing native forest.

We hope that you will come back to CUE Haven soon to explore more of your community native forest reserve with your family and friends. And back again next year for another productive volunteer day!

Thank You!!  Thank You!!

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