Early Xmas present for Rangitikei RDC gets 73 k for native forest planting December 29, 2018 Listen More than $73,000 has been awarded to Rangitikei District Council by Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) to create a native forest and walkway at Tutaenui Reservoir, also known as Marton Dams B & C. This is the most significant planting of its kind in the region for many years. More than 17,000 eco-sourced natives of around 50 different varieties will be planted this coming winter (May-September) with the help of council staff and community volunteers.As well as restoring native forest with its own significant environmental gains, the planting will also improve water quality for the Marton township by filtering nutrients and run-off from neighbouring roads and farmland. Watch drone footage of the Dams here The application for a walkway and memorial forest, Matariki Tu Rākau, was supported by Marton RSA and the Tutaenui Stream Restoration Society.Parks and Reserves Team Leader Athol Sanson says a diverse range of trees were grown from seed mostly sourced from plants naturally occurring within 20km of this site. There will be smaller growing trees to large forest giants such as kahikatea and totara, along with a range of wetland species. The selection of trees follows the species selected in The Tutaenui Water Reservoir Development Plan prepared by Boffa Miskell earlier this year. “The plan incorporates 7.8 km of track over a 10-year period. Initially, 4.6km of track will be developed for planting access, and subsequently turned into public walking tracks. Our heartfelt thanks goes to Te Uru Rākau for this generous contribution to our local community and preservation of our natural environment,” says Mr Sanson. Watch a video of Athol Sanson talking about the planting here Matariki Tu Rākau The Government announced Matariki Tu Rākau funding on Anzac Day, 25 April 2018. Matariki Tu Rākau encourages communities to plant living memorials honouring our New Zealand Defence Force members, past and present. Matariki Tu Rākau plantings will create living memorials to complement our time-honoured war memorial monuments. They will be public places where whanau, communities, and visitors, can reflect on the work and sacrifices of our service personnel.The Tutaenui Reservoir programme is one of a series of initiatives around the country to mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War with 350,000 trees being planted over the next two years.