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Trackies Occasional Newsletter No. 5. (1/5/21)

Back Bay boardwalk

Six weeks hard work and I still say it is a joy to work with such a dedicated and motivated bunch of Trackies. It beggars belief that folk working in sticky black mud, chopping mangroves and heaving them onto the boardwalk deck, can still smile and joke, but they did and that truly defines the atmosphere of the boardwalk project.

Here we are half way through May and construction is complete with only DekGrip to be laid and seats to be installed. It all started last year with prefabrication of deck sections in Eric Parsons’ shed on Paul Rd followed by some interesting transport experiments to get them on site.

Meanwhile the Shed Team churns out sections at a rate they hope will embarrass the construction team (but of course they don’t have to wear life jackets or rain gear and have power to boil the jug – such luxury!).

One of the biggest jobs this year has been the removal of mangroves with the boardwalk entering dense vegetation. Getting down and dirty in the mud was not the favourite job but Gordon Perry, Heidi, Barb, and Jenny got stuck in with help from whoever was spare on the day. Wool packs of wet, muddy, and heavy mangroves then had to compete with deck sections moving in the opposite direction to exit the site, a logistical challenge but the team rose to the occasion.

But the end is in sight with linking the deck to Molesworth Drive, a magnificent effort by the team of over 40 volunteers. The walk along Back Bay has yet to be named in consultation with the Council’s Wayfinding group.

There is no doubt this walkway via Back Bay as an alternative to a section of Molesworth Drive will be highly popular, a tranquil walk through wetlands and mangroves rather than the assault of continuous traffic, its high use will be the Trackies reward.

Lincoln Downs farm bush block

With an agreement signed with Council for the Trust to undertake walking track development in the Lincoln Downs bush block work is expected to begin once the boardwalk project has been wrapped up. We are exploring access opportunities and working with Council to ensure our longer term strategy of walking tracks and a mountain bike park are not frustrated by either access or farming demands.

The reverting grass and gorse areas in the SE of the block are seen as ideal for stage 1 of the mountain bike park and also offer potential car parking for the recreation area. Longer term much of the area will be planted back to native vegetation.

Tanekaha Tracks

While work is largely complete in the Tanekaha Track Complex maintenance will continue to demand our presence from time to time. The Trust will become responsible for maintenance of the kauri dieback station by the little bridge and has undertaken improvements to the parking area and signage. The importance of maintaining the entry and picnic area over the swing bridge ensures we will be regularly on site.

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