A record turnout occurred for the first working bee of the St Johns 2022/23 Rotary year, in fact just 12 hours after Changeover! A group of 17 enthusiastic gumboot-clad members, partners, and friends met at 9am on Sunday 19 June at Apirana Reserve, Glen Innes – coordinated by Ken, Nanda, Roger who began the restoration of this neglected weed-infested 'reserve' 2.5 years ago.

Preparations at the Reserve are well in hand for a third year of planting of sapling native trees, with relevant land having been sprayed and partly levelled. Our work was to shift a giant 30m3 pile of wood mulch, using shovels, wheelbarrows, and bucket chain-gangs, to form a multitude of ‘molehill’ piles of mulch across the area for future planting. Later, holes will be augered between these mulch piles – ready for planting and spreading of mulch around plants on 23 July.
In addition to good humour of the hard-working participants, we were also fortunate to have fine weather and the encouraging leadership of co-President Graham from the ridge-top and of co-President Gary among the workers on the plain. Graham was particularly proud of the dimension of his piles.
With a satisfying feeling of accomplishment, we completed the task by 11.15am; then cleaned up ahead of a social catchup over coffee. At the coffee-bar, we were visited by Elena from the Sustainable Business Network, who will be invited to speak at Rotary about this large environmental business-linked organisation. Ken & Roger will also speak about the Apirana Reserve project at our breakfast meeting on 30 June.