Monday, 16 July 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

More Memorial Forest trees to be planted

More Memorial Forest trees to be planted

New Zealand soldiers who were killed in the battles of Passchendaele and the Somme will now be commemorated as part of the Coromandel's World War I Memorial Forest, thanks in part to a $122,205 Lotteries grant.

Thames Coromandel District Council gave the go-ahead for this year's Stage 2 of the Memorial Forest project at its meeting this week, which will add another 5,017 trees to the existing 3,000 native trees at the current six sites.

Two new sites will join the six already existing.

Each site represents a specific battle or pays tribute to the men who died from a specific part of the Coromandel, with one tree planted for each man killed. There is at least one Memorial Forest site in each Community Board area of the District.

Planting will resume around Anzac Day this year (25 April), once the weather becomes cooler.

If you wish to make a long-lasting contribution to the Memorial Forest, you can do so by donating the cost of a tree, $25. You can dedicate the tree to one of the 18,166 New Zealanders who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war. The tree's GPS location will be recorded and you will be issued with a memorial certificate bearing the soldier's name and the tree's location.

As part of Stage 2 of the Memorial Forest, the Gallipoli site above Cathedral Cove will be completed with the planting of another 1,279 trees to bring the total to 2,779 - one for each New Zealand soldier killed in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.

The Passchendaele Memorial Forest site at the new Mercury Bay cemetery already has 500 trees planted. Another 1,500 trees will be planted this year to match the total of 2,000 men killed in the battle.

The Somme Memorial Forest site is to be established at the Stella Evered Memorial Park, a private reserve by the Purangi Estuary administered as a publicly accessible natural site via a deed of trust by the Perpetual Guardian.

Some 2,300 trees will be planted near the Purangi Estuary, again, one for each New Zealand soldier killed in the Somme battle of 1916.

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