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Commemorative trees a thank you from LOTR fans

27 August 2004

Commemorative trees a thank you from LOTR fans

The 11 kauri being planted next week to launch Wellington City Council’s new commemorative tree scheme are a thank you to Peter Jackson from Lord of the Rings fans worldwide.

The money for them ($1650) was raised via the website TheOneRing.net (TORN) and donated to the Council specifically for trees because LOTR’s author JRR Tolkien was an environmentalist and tree lover.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast will be helping with the planting at Tawa’s Willowbank Park, corner Boscobel Lane and Main Road, on Thursday 2 September at 2pm.

Council Manager of Botanic and Natural Areas Mike Oates says commemorative trees are a thoughtful and distinctive way to provide a living memorial and a great way to help ensure a greener future.

“They can be planted to remember someone who has died, celebrate a birth, anniversary or special event, honour someone or express appreciation. We don’t allow individual plaques for maintenance and other reasons but people who pay for a commemorative tree will receive a certificate suitable for framing with a photo showing the tree, its GPS planting location, and general information about the tree species.”

The Council expects that in most cases applicants and their families and friends will want to plant or help plant the tree. Dates will be set aside each year when staff will be present at the identified locations to plant or assist if necessary. These planting days are likely to be in winter to ensure the trees get off to a good start.

From 2005 there will be a choice of several sites around the city where commemorative trees can be planted. Native and exotic trees including kauri, kowhai, rewarewa, alder, ginkgo and ash are available. They will be at least five years old, between 1 and 1.5 metres high and cost $150. This pays for the tree, its planting and initial care, and assists with maintenance over its lifetime.

Mr Oates says the commemorative tree scheme is just one of the ways people can help plant our city’s future and help bring back native birds and bush.

“Hundreds of people are involved with the more than 30 volunteer groups that are helping to look after stream and bush areas around the city. Others are working to improve areas of road reserve and reserve land near their homes or helping out community planting bees.”

ENDS

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