Planting honours service men and women

Forestry and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones (with shovel) and Minister for the...
Forestry and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones (with shovel) and Minister for the Environment David Parker (kneeling) plant the first of 20 silver beech trees in the Signal Hill Reserve. Ready to help are (from left), Arron Eyles and Scott Kerr of Upfront Environmental, Aaron Thompson of the Ministry of Primary Industries, Hamish Seaton, Mountain Biking Otago, University of Otago student Yonni Megchelse, Aalbert Rebergen, DCC parks and recreation biodiversity officer, Jenepher Glover-She
Living memorials in the form of 20 silver beech trees have been planted in the Signal Hill Reserve to honour past and present service men and women.

Forestry and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for the Environment David Parker yesterday placed the first of the 20 young trees, rather fittingly almost alongside a silver beech planted 20 years ago as part of the work of the late Les Cleveland, a former Dunedin businessman and philanthropist.

Yesterday's symbolic ceremony was a forerunner of a significant Matariki Tu Rakau commemorative community tree planting project next month. The project, started between MPI and Forestry, will involve the planting of 350,000 trees throughout New Zealand.

The Signal Hill planting of 20 silver beech trees was part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War 1.

Otago Southland District RSA president Jenepher Glover-Shepherd said the young trees would be "living memorials" to past and present servicemen and women, and would complement existing and more traditional memorials.

The tree planting by the two ministers was "breaking ground" for a significant Matariki Tu Rakau event, which will take place next month when 850 trees are to be planted on Signal Hill.

During the latter part of August there will also be significant plantings made at Waikouaiti and in the reserve near Goodwood, Dunedin City Council parks and gardens biodiversity officer Aalbert Rebergen said.

The plantings are being carried out close to Matariki as that is the optimal time for planting, but plantings can be carried out at other times as well. The programme is to run for three years.

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