The Millennium Native Forest Reserve - Masterton
Conceived 1994 - Opened to the Public 12 April 2008
***** History *****
In the beginning:
The idea to establish a special reserve of native bush began in 1994 when the Masterton South Rotary Club was looking
for a community project in the town. They prevailed on the community-owned Masterton Trust Lands Trust to allow
the property which is now the Reserve to be developed as a native forest.
An area of land on the corner of Hillcrest and Pownall Streets covering 5.5 hectares, owned by the Masterton Trust Lands Trust,
had been used for grazing by the Wairarapa College farm. It was not suitable for industrial or housing development
due to a swamp area caused by strong springs that well up from along the base of the earthquake scarp that cuts
across the property. Endangered native mud fish have been found in the springs. The idea grew to create a bush area
replicating what used to cover the entire Wairarapa valley.
Forest and Bird involvement
The Wairarapa branch of Forest and Bird came on board in 1996 to help drive the project and in 1997 a shade
house was built alongside the Environmental Education Centre used by schools. This centre had been
supported by the Masterton Rotary Club. There are around eight schools in a 1.6 km radius of the education
centre and reserve. A grant from Lottery Environment meant funds were available to grow plants on site.
Many thousands of plants were raised and planted on a number of community planting days.
Schools, the Wairarapa Polytechnic and workers on employment schemes have all helped out.
The Reserve was subsequently covenanted under the QEII National Trust.
The Reserve is currently under the control of a group of volunteers within an organisation called -
The Friends of the Millennium Native Forest Reserve Society Inc.
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