Getting their hands dirty and getting stuck in will be worth it for those who volunteer their time to help maintain a recreational asset this weekend.

A Ngongotahā Stream community work day is being held tomorrow, starting 9am.

Twenty years ago, the MP for Rotorua declared the Ngongotahā Stream Walkway project open.

Gavin Corbett and John Conway, both in their early 70s, are currently the only two volunteers keeping the walkway maintained.


The tasks tomorrow will include, planting, raking and clearing the existing tracks, clearing debris from previous flooding and rubbish collection.

Gavin says by the end of the day they hope there will be more than 1000 plants in the ground, which will help strengthen and beautify the stream banks.

He says the primary goal is to create public awareness as to the existence of the walkway, and to hopefully add to the pool of volunteer labour.

"I think the walkway is a best-kept secret. We are just trying to draw attention to the asset the community has."

He thinks many people are totally involved in their work and career, and spending time on devices, but are not getting out and appreciating the environment right in front of them.

"I think that some people just don't even notice anymore, they are so busy."

He thanks Bay of Plenty Regional Council which have supplied more than 2000 plants to date, and sprays and chemicals for pest weed control.

Kerry Smith, Bay of Plenty Regional Council area engineer for rivers and drainage, says the council is supporting these volunteers because this year's flood affected the stream and there is a lot of work to be done.


"It is such a beautiful area and is a massive recreational asset to the community.

"I also think it has fallen off the radar a bit for people, so hopefully some people will come, have a look, and rediscover the area."

Rotorua business Cheal Consultants spent the afternoon last Friday getting stuck in at Ngongotahā Stream, and encourages others to also help out tomorrow.

Cheal Consultants surveyor Calvin Watson says they took the afternoon to help out because they thought it would be a great chance to help out the community.

Work undertaken included planting some rushes, getting rid of willow trees which had seeded on the stream edges and cutting in steps to give better access to anglers.

Calvin enjoyed their staff members working together and getting the area looking nice.

He says the staff had loved the idea and were all on board with helping the natural area.

He says he is hoping to be at the community working day tomorrow too.

"John and Gavin have done a great job over the years to maintain it.

"I think it's just getting the recognition of what we have around the place, and getting people to come together and get involved.