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Acorn Foundation Inaugurates New Memorial Grove

The tree planting team in front of a Pūriri that had been planted in honour of an anonymous donor. Photo/Supplied

The Acorn Foundation, in partnership with Tauranga City Council, inaugurated a new Memorial Grove at Gordon Carmichael Reserve on Wednesday 5 June. The day was chosen as it celebrates both New Zealand Arbor Day and World Environment Day.

The grove has been established to honour the legacy of donors to the foundation who have passed on and has begun with the planting of six young native saplings: three Kahikatea and three Pūriri trees.

Acorn Foundation CEO Lori Luke says Tauranga City Council gifted Acorn access to the grove for future plantings in perpetuity.

“The trees will stand as a physical representation of the legacy of Acorn’s donors. Just as their gifts to the community will grow and flourish, so too will the trees honouring these generous donors.”

Acorn Foundation Legacy Giving Manager Campbell Higgins says the inauguration was a true community event.

“We are extremely grateful to all the friends and families of our donors who came out to honour their loved ones, to Mark Armistead and the Tauranga City Council team for their enthusiastic support in the lead-up to the event and on the day, and to Keith Travis at Tauranga Tree Company for generously donating the six native trees that were planted.”

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“We were also happy to be joined by team members from Tauranga Salvation Army and want to thank Mike Kemp for his blessing, honouring our collective connection to the whenua. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the lives of our generous donors, and to begin establishing a local native forest both for friends of Acorn to visit and for future generations to enjoy.”

The donors honoured on Wednesday were Keith and Rona Hunt, Dr. Jann Medlicott, Sybil Anderson, and Jill Butler – whose tree was planted by her widower, George – as well as two additional donors who have chosen to keep their giving private.

The new grove adds to the existing memorial grove, planted at Cambridge Park, and inaugurated on the Acorn Foundation’s 10th birthday in May 2013. It features 64 Oak trees.

“Concerns about the quality of the soil, along with the desire to utilise native trees, led to the move to a new location,” explains Lori. “Plans for a large native grove and a natural public space have been developed between the Acorn Foundation and the council, while the trees at the original grove will also be maintained and accessible forever.”

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