FIRE 1878
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Registration form
BushTown Waimate Incorporated

Heritage Totara Forest Planting Project

A new Totara forest planting project has been approved for the Bushtown Heritage Park. This document includes a background to the project and a registration form. If you wish to participate please complete the registration form and return with the $150 deposit to P 0 Box 43, Waimate.

  • To celebrate the mighty Totara forests that were once endemic in the Waimate District
  • To establish a 2.5hectare (approximately) Totara forest within the Bushtown Heritage Park
  • To raise revenue from the planting of Totara trees and other Native species.
Heritage Statement
The mighty Totara was a target species for the Sawmillers who settled in Waimate in the 1800's. Our history records from the early 1850's, Pit Milling operations became established in what was then called the Te Waimatemate area. As far we now know the early milling days focused on the forest fringes located near what is now known as Mill road. We also know milling operations were carried out close to what is now the Bushtown Heritage Park site.
James Bruce established the first steam driven mill in 1866 at which time the Totara Forest harvest began in earnest. At the time of the disastrous fire of 1878 at least 5 steam driven sawmills and an unknown number of Pit mills were operating in an area extending from William Street to Kelceys Bush.
The Totara lumber sourced from what we now call the Waimate area quickly gained a reputation for quality and was often shipped to many parts of NZ as well as Internationally. Builders heralded the lumber as being very stable. It could be easily machined and it had outstanding durability characteristics.
Locally the Te Waimate Woolshed, Knox Presbyterian Church and Waituna Hall (The old School building) all contain Totara lumber milled in these early pioneering days. The very good ground durability characteristics saw Totara also used extensively by farmers for making fence posts. Many examples of these can still be seen around the Waimate District today.
The Bushtown Heritage Forest Project sets out to recreate the mighty Totara forests that once adorned the Waimate District Landscape. Individuals, families, interest groups or companies now have the opportunity to participate in this project by planting Totara seedlings on designated areas within the Bushtown Heritage Park.
The Bushtown Committee want to ensure every tree planting is a special event for the participants. Every tree will be permanently marked with a plaque and be located by GPS co-ordinates. This is an opportunity to establish a very special moment in time and create a forest we can all be proud of.
The Totara forest project
  • All seedlings will be supplied by local Nurseries from locally sourced seed
  • All tree locations will be pre-marked
  • Each tree will be located by GPS co-ordinates
  • Bushtown personnel will be onsite and provide assistance during planting
  • Each tree will be identified on a planting plan on display in the Auditorium
  • . A plaque will be placed by every tree denoting the tree number, the name of the donor and the date
  • The tree will be nurtured by Bushtown staff/management/team
  • Bushtown personnel can plant the tree for the aged, disabled or non resident participants with the same benefits applying . A photo will be taken of every tree planting event and placed in the Bushtown Totara album on display in the Auditorium.
  • A photo will also be placed on the Bushtown web site from where it can be downloaded and/or printed out
  • The tree donor will receive a framed certificate incorporating a photograph of the planting, and including the GPS co-ordinates
  • The tree donor will also receive a photograph and letter of thanks from the Chairman / President / CEO of Bushtown

Participants are invited to plant a Totara tree on the Bushtown site. They can elect to plant their seedling during 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. Spaces will be allocated on a first in first served basis. There will be a total of approximately 750 Totara planting sites allocated. A series of walking tracks will provide access to all sites.
A series of days will be allocated during the year for tree planting opportunities. We can arrange special times for planting outside of allocated days where required.
An additional 20,000 native Colonising and Podocarp species will also be planted to create the forest. These additional plantings will involve local groups/organisations/schools as much as possible to ensure a sense of ownership. The additional seedlings will be planted to provide a protection screening and microclimate for the Totara forest. Some of these additional seedlings will eventually be sacrificed as the main Totara forest develops.
A completed registration form will be required to secure the opportunity to plant a Totara seedling or seedlings. Bushtown staff can complete a registration form on behalf but the participant or approved representative must sign the form.
Payment Donors can elect to pay the base price of $550 including GST per seedling or pay the base price plus an elective additional amount of $100 (incl GST) to help fund the purchase and planting of the additional 20,000 seedlings required.
A minimum deposit of $150 will be payable on completion of the registration form with the balance due within one month of planting.
Donors can also elect to pay the balance by staggered payments directly into our bank account. Please talk to a Bushtown representative about the options.
Download Totara Registration form.doc (850kb)
Overseas Visitors to New Zealand who wish to participate in this scheme will be welcomed and are encouraged to join in and do your bit for the global future of the environment by sponsoring a tree or trees.
Please email below.
Oversea interest@bushtown.co.nz

BushTown Waimate Incorporated
PO Box 43,
South Canterbury,
New Zealand