Friends Web pages

ISSUE 23 for OCTOBER 2003.
If you have any items about the park for publication please Contact Bill Whitbourn at or send them to PO Box 91 Emerald before 24th of the month.   View the last 10 issues on our web site!

Our parks officers are flat out and the park is looking great around the Lake area.   Operations with recently appointed interim manager Mark Flemming continue to support the boys well.   However support from other areas is lacking.   If patronage needs building to balance the budget, resources invested, need to be more effectively targeted in this area.
    It is now well into the busy season, the kids want to swim and the pool is not yet open.   In frustration they have been swimming in the lake.   Mowing is rough, sporadic and incomplete.   Picnic areas, edges banks and amphitheatres are neglected.   There are no programs to attract patrons during the active season now upon us.
    People need to know where to find things, the park is large, their time is often limited (between Trains) and information is still scarce. New walkers also need to find trails and facilities.   From the Puffing Billy area, trails and most facilities are not easy to find.
    Picnickers like to lounge on a rug not too far from their car, as well as by the lake.   Nearby green areas are neglected and uninviting and the chip bark covered ground is not suitable for this.   While manpower is to be increased soon, action is needed now, with guide-lines drawn to focus these issues for next year.

A man and his wife, now in their 60's, were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. On their special day a good fairy came to them and said that because they had been such a devoted couple she would grant each of them a very special wish. The wife wished for a trip around the world with her husband. Whoosh! Immediately she had airline/cruise tickets in her hands. The man wished for a female companion 30 years younger....... Whoosh....immediately he turned ninety!!! Gotta love that fairy!

Fishing Pier No1
The first Fishing Pier - installed early October

The first of the fishing piers was erected early in October.   This experimental effort has had some problems.   Rain before and after causing damage with much of the aggregate material and soil washed into the lake.   However the kids found it great for swimming, as the old bare slippery edge is gone.   Some fishing has been done from the installed rock outcrop, so it will get used for its intended purpose.   More work in this area is now needed to make it ready for the busy season.   Drainage and prevention of soil (and aggregate) erosion are critical issues here and elsewhere.

Messmate garden steps
Landscaping by Jamie and Richard

Our park officers have been busy with some landscaping efforts in the Messmate area and near the Main Footbridge.   This looks great and certainly tidy up these spots.   Erosion with the heavy rain caused minor hitches but should not be a problem in future as the toppings settle in with use.

Since the engagement of our new parks officers just over a year ago they have planted a number of ornamental trees to compensate for a few losses in past years.   These have been donated by Fleming's Nursery as a trade for their seed collection in the park.   A list of plantings follows, it is not complete as there are still more to put in and there are other native plantings.   A big thank you to Flemings Nursery and the boys!

3x - Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula White' - Japanese Flower. Cherry.
1x - Acer negundo 'Flamingo' - Box Elder ( California Maple)
3x - Acer palmatum 'Atropurpureum'
Cut-Leaf Japanese Maple.
3x - Acer palmatum 'Dissectum Seiryu' - Seiryu Japanese Maple.
3x - Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku' - Coralbark Japanese Maple
1x - Lagerstroemia indica 'Lipan' - Lipan Crapemyrtle
1x - Acer japonicum - Full Moon Maple
1x - Gingko biloba - broad-leafed, conifer related, deciduous.

Fishermen on the Lake
Fishermen keen to hook a Trout"

Fishing has been good and we are seeing more fishermen using the parking facilities than ever thanks guys.   This has been achieved by frequent restocking of the lake in the last couple of months.   The good stocks have allowed some to get more than their share.   Our park officers are trying to control this but it is difficult.   Leave a few for your mates or toss back what you don't want please.   Currently a 5 per person per day bag limit applies.

A weekend mountain bike racing event is to be held on 13th and 14th of December by the Fat Tyre Flyers.   It will be a greater event over the two days than was held on July 13th which was only a morning, being completed by 1.30pm.   With better weather in December much less impact on the environment is expected.   Returns for the park should be significantly better.   The event is not expected to generate much interest from the general public.   Any negative impact on public attendance will be estimated at the time.   Parking on this weekend will be co-ordinated as in the past.

The multi use trail route through the park has been finalised.   The section through the lake area has been sorted and will make for a number of improvements with a sealed pathway along the lake and separated bike path.   The remaining route though has not been engineered to minimise the grade.   I don't see this section getting much use by bike riders.   Riders likely will continue to take the South centre track and through the fence at the Heritage park.   Wheel chair access will also be out of the question?   Thankfully walkers passing through the park to Emerald will get some benefit as the mid section follows the shortest route to the top of Emerald lake road.   From that point the remaining trail actually goes down and back up a steeper slope to the other side of the valley?   A long and indirect route to Peppi's Paddock and Emerald.

The web site has been collecting visitation statistics for individual pages.   This is an advance on the friends previous counting setup.   The figures show that the greatest interest has been for the Paddleboats and Picnic Shelters over the month to mid Sept. - October with 122 and 95 visits respectively.   The total individual visitor numbers were not available.

The total rainfall for the month of October was a record138.2mm.   A storm burst on Wednesday 15th registered a peak of rate of 15.6mm in 10 minutes causing much damage in the park.

working bees

The Friends working bees are organized in conjunction with our park officers.   Suggested areas of weed removal and work in the gardens and the park are emailed to our VP. Leo.   Co-ordination of activities with the park officers is thus improved.   Peggy is in charge of the Friends gardening and working Bees.

October work totalled 32 Bee hours,   Thanks to Peggy Stonehouse, Leo Stauber, K. Kitada, Shiela Hampson, Lee Ferris, Kevin Teasedale, Noel Gross and Heather & Bill Whitbourn.   Also Thanks to Richard and Jamie for the jobs list and bag collection.

Our November list includes Planting of trees and at the time of writing will now occur on the last W.B. Thursday 20th.   So other than miscellaneous assistance that might be organised this years effort will be completed on that date.

WORKING BEE DATES - 2hours only.

        Saturday 1st. 9.00am
        Sunday 9th. 9.00am
        Thursday 20th. 1.30pm

    January 2004.
        Saturday 3rd. 9.00am
        Sunday 11th. 9.00am
        Thursday 15th. 1.30pm

    Don't Forget

    December 2003.
      Annual FELP BBQ
      Saturday 6th. @ 12.00pm.
      Boatshed BBQ area.

    Note it in your DIARY!

Please note!
The next FELP meeting, will be held NEXT YEAR on Saturday 7th February 11.15am in the Environment Centre after the Working Bee.

October Bees
W.Bee Thursday 16th. October.