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Omar’s Family & Friends – 17 October 2020

October 18, 2020

Ever since Omar David Garcia Hoyos passed away three years ago, his family and friends have been remembering and celebrating his life with volunteer days at CUE Haven.

Family and friends joining us today included Aiden, Alba, Alex, Anna, Hernan, Katherine, Lizzie. A., Lizzie J., Luz, Megan, Omar, Patricia, Rosie, Sonia, Vanessa and Vicky.

The group arrived mid morning and after morning tea went to work.  They broke into four teams and tackled a variety of tasks.

Alba, Luz, Patricia and Sonia headed to the wetlands where they spent the day trimming back vegetation along the boardwalk in the wetlands.  They cut back overgrown flax and cleared morning glory and other weeds.  They were too busy working to take pictures so unfortunately we do not have photos of them working, but the area they worked on looks great.

We also regularly test the water quality of the CUE Haven stream and asked them to update our test data.  They checked the temperature, clarity, dissolved oxygen, PH and phosphates. All tests revealed that the stream is in good health.

In the meantime, Aiden, Megan and Omar took on an interesting challenge.  At one point near the new viewing platform, the area had been dug out to provide access to the site and we wanted to fill in the area with gravel so that there wouldn’t be erosion from the road and also to improve the appearance of the area.

They decided to build a small retaining wall and fill the area with gravel.  The job involved a lot of digging and sawing.  The first task was to square off the section.

They then dug holes for the posts.

The posts were installed and fixed in place with concrete.

They then cut the boards for the retaining wall.

And nailed them in place.

The last task was to fill in the area behind the retaining wall with gravel to widen the road.  We drove down and filled buckets with gravel.

Then drove up to the site and dumped in the gravel.

The retaining wall is a great improvement and will make access to the platform easier.  This is how the area looked before they got started.

And this is how it looks now.  We will bury the drain pipe and finish off the area with some native vegetation next winter.

Anna, Lizzie A., Lizzie J, Rosie and Vanessa worked on a new section of walking track accessing the viewing platform area.  Previous teams had started installing steps in a steep section of track and today’s group continued on with the challenging work.

The work involved figuring out where and how to position the steps and then measuring and cutting out channels for the side boards and installing the steps.

Once they had a plan, they started digging for the side boards and cutting and levelling the steps.

They test fitted the boards for the steps and cut them to size.

And then nailed them in place.

It was a big job and future teams will finish off the steps, building on the work done today.

Meanwhile, Alex, Hernan, Katherine and Vicky worked on finishing off a section of track that we have been widening to improve access to the viewing platform area.

The work involved relocating the side boards of the original track.  The big challenge was to make sure everything was straight and level.

The boards were fixed in place with pegs and nails.

The area behind the new side boards was filled in to prevent erosion.

The hard working teams all worked until a late lunch and then people who didn’t need to leave to go voting on election day, came back up to finish off loose ends.

Kevin, the builder who built the viewing platform, offered to build some benches for the platform area and stopped by as a volunteer for a couple of hours this afternoon and quickly made three benches. Thanks Kevin!

The benches were completed just in time for the team to take them up to the platform site

The benches are a wonderful addition to the site and will be most appreciated by visitors.

As always, it was really nice seeing Omar’s family and friends again and meeting wonderful people.  This is such a great way to remember and celebrate Omar’s life and add to the positive energy at CUE Haven.

Many thanks to Vanessa for organising the day and thanks for your continued support. A BIG thank you to everyone for their help and hard work today — you have all made a major contribution to CUE Haven and we continue to be very impressed with your enthusiasm and eagerness to get involved.

Thank you all so much for giving up your Saturday to come out to help and we very much look forward to having you all back soon for another fun and productive day.


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