This year marks the 120th anniversary of the first Arbor Day observed in Ormondville.

In 1899, the Ormondville Town Board received correspondence from the Colonial Secretary's office "re Arbor Day, hoping that the local authorities would place the matter before the public and do what they could to encourage planting in public reserves".

Consequently, the students of Ormondville School planted 150 trees.

This year, on June 1, residents of Ormondville are intending to commemorate this Arbor Day by planting native trees at the Ormondville Reserve on Buckland Road, the beginning of the riparian planting stage of the Ormondville Reserve Makeover.

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All are welcome, either to help plant a tree or two, or just see what is happening.

Ormondville Reserve is home to several 400-year-old rimu, beech and ribbonwood trees that were formerly part of Seventy Mile Bush. The reserve lies next to the Mangarangiora Stream, downstream from the WopWops Wetlands in Lower Norsewood. It is a tributary to the Manawatū River,

The once popular swimming spot (where trout was once illegally caught) has deteriorated since its heyday in the early 1900s. But the stream and the historic trees have recently been fenced off from the grazing portion of the reserve, with support from the Tararua District Council and the Horizons District Council.

The Ormondville Domain Board recently received a grant from the Dannevirke Community Board, towards the cost of improving access, and clearing gorse and broom.

The organisers are keen to get in touch with any descendants of former Ormondville School pupils, especially from 1890 to 1900

Arbor Day riparian planting will take place between 10am and 3pm, rain or shine. Make sure you bring a spade. Refreshments and restrooms available in the Ormondville Hall.

Contact: fionabartlettnz@gmail.com or 021 474 159 or check out our Facebook page: Friends of the Ormondville Domain and Reserve.