Liam Marsh is giving his home town of Rotorua a unique leaving present before heading overseas.

Mr Marsh, 23, has been working to make a difference in his community by planting fruit trees at the Linton Park Community Centre, that in a few years will be bearing fruit for everyone to enjoy.

He has planted 12 so far - three mandarin, three feijoa, two orange, two lemon, one lime and one loquat - and aims to plant 42 more.

He said he wanted to plant apples and pears around the edging and to add a lot more citrus trees.


The trees should be fruiting within three to five years, Mr Marsh said.

"I go down every afternoon and water the plants."

Five of the trees were donated and he bought the rest. He said they could be expensive, but he had been able to buy some from Saturday markets.

Mr Marsh said his prime goal was to show people they could grow their own food.

"We can live with the earth and off the earth.

"I want to see kids be able to go to parks and pick out their lunch. We can live off the land, we used to."

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His intention was that anyone would be able to go and pick the fruit, he said.

He said the fruit trees were a "leaving present for my home town" before he set off to Limpopo in South Africa for a six-month wildlife internship through Global Vision International.

He would leave for the internship in September and would likely end up staying overseas, he said.

The first three months consists of learning skills such as how to track animals and collect data.

The second three months involves finding and working in a position within Global Vision International.

People at the Linton Park Community Centre have been helping maintain the growth of the trees and would continue to do so while he was away, he said.