As 2021 draws to an end, we reflect on this year's achievements, what 2022 holds for the trust and want to thank the Cromwell community for supporting our efforts to create a healthier and happier lake Dunstan for people and wildlife.
This year started with a big win when we received $1 million through Jobs for Nature and LINZ to undertake four years of landscape restoration, community outreach, and to develop a community vision for Lake Dunstan. Since then, the Trust has been hard at work producing a landscape plan with Wanaka landscape architects, Rough & Milne, for our Bridge to Bridge restoration project. Stretching from Deadmans Bridge to Lowburn Bridge, we have been busy identifying vulnerable species as well as areas for clearing, planting and pest control. This has been a massive task due to the challenging and complex issues we face such as soil degradation, unprecedented rabbit populations, extreme conditions, compliance hurdles and ensuring health and safety requirements are met. We have been working closely with stakeholders and affected parties including ORC, CODC, Ngai Tahu, Mōkihi Reforestation Trust, Cromwell College and the Boat club to produce a successful and thorough plan for the next 3 years. We have recently signed a Memorandums of Understanding with Mōkihi Reforestation Trust to identify where we can work together to achieve maximum success.
We are now in the final stages of planning and will soon put the project out for tender. Our first planting is planned for March/April 2022 with more expected in the following years. We will also be undertaking extensive weed clearing, pest control and protection programmes for vulnerable species over the next 3 years. In the new year, we will be looking to hire a part-time maintenance person to work alongside the successful project tender team.
Megan Phillips joined us in May as our community engagement coordinator to work with the wider community, schools and stakeholders to create projects and resources to support education and improvements to our lake. Our website has since undergone extensive updates to provide the necessary resources to keep people informed on the various issues we face and how people and stakeholders are working to improve our region. Despite challenging Covid restrictions, our annual lake clean up in September was a huge success and it was encouraging to see the community really get involved.
We have many projects planned for 2022 such as the Junior Guardians Driftwood Art display, Aquatic Centre Garden Restoration and a Community Tool Shed with many more in the pipeline. In October 2021, CODC Cromwell Community Board approved a grant to purchase a container for a community tool shed to offer resources to projects enhancing our environment and recreational areas. We are now applying for permits and funding/donations for tools and hope to unveil in the near future. We thank Cromwell ITM for their donation of $3,000.00 to go towards purchasing tools and their ongoing commitment to our community.
In November we launched a monthly speaker event, Ripple effect, to connect the community with the amazing people and projects working to protect and improve Central Otago. So far we have learnt about the Dryland Ecosystem and lizard life from Anna Yeoman, of Mokomoko Sanctuary, and how a Queenstown project is working to protect vulnerable nesting birds like those found on Lake Dunstan from Dawn Palmer, of Tucker Beach Wildlife Reserve.
Finally, we are excited to announce that Shaping our Future, a Queenstown-based trust, will help to create a community vision next year that will represent the concerns and aspirations of the community on the future of our amazing lake. Independent from our trust, Shaping our future ensures the community gets a chance to guide today’s decision-makers into the future and collaboratively works to create a useful tool to contribute towards a better future. They have extensive experience and have produced many valuable reports such as the Wakatipu water report and Glenorchy community visioning report. Workshops will be held next year so, if you have an opinion on the lake and its future, keep an eye out for more information.
We thank everyone who has supported our efforts to improve Lake Dunstan and look forward to 2022 and developing our various projects to provide the lake the community wants and deserves. Merry Christmas from all at Lake Dunstan Charitable Trust.
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