Bowater Toyota, and the wider Bowater Motor Group, are very excited that the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary's "Get Behind the Fence" campaign is coming to fruition with the 14 kilometre fence almost completed. We have been keen supporters of the whole project for many years, and are always keen to get involved where ever and when ever we can.
In the last month Toyota New Zealand began a conversation about the importance of connecting with nature, and entered into a relationship with DoC (the Department of Conservation). Click here to read about the celebration that Toyota NZ held to celebrate it's 50 years in New Zealand. Part of that celebration was the sending of a small Rimu seedling to every dealership in the country, for us to plant somewhere significant.
We instantly thought of the Brook Sanctuary, and the opportunity to gift this seedling to the sanctuary. A conversation ensued and we sat down with Sanctuary Manager Hudson Dodd to discuss the opportunity to start something significant. As it transpired we couldn't gift the Rimu seedling to the Sanctuary as they have a strict bio-security blanket in place where only trees "born" in the sanctuary valley are able to go back into the valley. They have a very comprehensive seed raising operation in place, taking seeds from the trees in the sanctuary, raising them at the Sanctuary base by the dam, and replanting them as and where they need them.
Instead we discussed their future plans for the area, how they envisaged the community engagement to be generated, and their collective wishes as to beginning places of commemoration within or just outside on the Sanctuary grounds.
We saw the entire exercise as an opportunity to celebrate Toyota New Zealand's Believe Statements, which have become competely integrated into the Bowater Toyota "way". One of those statements is that by working together we can make a difference. So we listened. In the end we came up with a great plan that involved finding a perfect rock to inscribe a small part of our story in a way that would truly "stand the test of time".
This video is long (14 minutes) but it celebrates our journey on Saturday 30th April when some of the Bowater Toyota team, and 3 generations of the Bowater family, came together and started something special. A tree was placed in the ground that will outlast us all, and will be a significant food source for birds long into the future as they repopulate the Brook Valley. It is awesome!
Today was extra special for the team of Bowater Toyota at The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust as a bunch got together with their kids and planted a tree to commemorate the long standing relationship between Bowaters and the Sanctuary. This tree will stand the test of time and be there to visit for generations to come, as well as provide nourishment for the birds as they repopulate the area. It's a long video but worth every second. Thank you everyone. It was a very special moment.Posted by Bowater Motor Group on Saturday, 30 April 2016
There is of course so much more to the story.
Starting at the start. What makes a Sanctuary?
This whole project has been a massive labour of love for a wide and varied section of the community. Click here to read more in our dedicated Brook Waimarama Sanctuary section of our website. We have had a strong bond with the Sanctuary over the years and will continue to do so long into the future. It is set in stone now!!!!
The stone we are speaking of was not that easy to come by.
Part of the philosophy of those at the heart of the Brook Sanctuary is that only that which comes from the valley has a place in the valley. They are very very keen to protect the bio security of the valley and install best practice procedures right from the get go.
Part of this we embraced and opened a discussion as to the creation of a commemorative plaque to celebrate the planting of "our" tree. We were very fortunate to be allowed to shift a rock from the riverbed up the bank a hundred metres or so and use that as our "touchstone".
This was not an easy process, as anyone that has ever done any rock garden work will know - they are much much heavier than you could ever imagine!
We took a stroll in the river with Bo and found the rock we were looking for, that could be relocated with some muscle.
Once we had "our" rock it was up to the skilled craftsmen of G Millar and Son's (check out their showroom in Champion Road) to sandblast out the negative space to create a raised plaque of the actual stone itself, with our commemorative statement onto the rock so that it would withstand the rigours of time, and age with some grace and it's own sense of beauty. What an awesome job! This was easily achieved for them and the end result far surpassed our expectations.
The best bit in the journey of the touchstone was the setting it into the ground the day before.
Check out the video we made of that event.
Today we planted a big stone at The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust site in the Brook Valley in preparation of a ceremonial tree planting by staff of Bowater Toyota tomorrow. It was a special moment thanks to the folks at G Miller & Sons Monumental Stone Masons who create a fully awesome touchstone for us.Posted by Bowater Motor Group on Friday, 29 April 2016
Saturday 30th April. A day to celebrate with family and colleagues at a place we will hold dear for generations.
For all of us the day, and the planting was as much about the future as it was about the present, and that is why we made a special point of getting along the next generation to help in the actual planting. The putting of soil into the ground and onto the roots.
For these kids, they all now have a physical connection to that Pigeon Wood and the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary as they actually help to plant that tree!
Whilst this tree is little right now, it will soon grow into a mighty food source for the native wood pigeon amongst others, and feed them for a very long time. It was our thought that all those with a connection to the tree will forever over the course of their lifetime be able to go and see it, see the stone, and tell the story of the day they planted a tree in the Brook Sanctuary. It is quite special. And a huge honour.
For all of us at Bowater Toyota we would like to extend a massive thankyou to Hudson and the entire team at the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary for allowing us the honour to be a part of the Sanctuary in the way that we now are, and for the chance to create a legacy for our generations.
A better tomorrow does indeed start today.