March 2009 Recipients
The planned Hauraki Rail Trail from Paeroa to Thames has been given a boost with a Mazda Foundation grant of $4,500.00.
The grant will be used to purchase plants to provide a screen between the Rail Trail and residential homes which back onto the trail.
Julie Stephenson from the Hauraki Rail Trail Management Committee said the plants chosen are low maintenance, suit the local soil type and are unattractive to pests such as rabbits. They will be planted from Paeroa to Karangahake where they expect the Rail Trail to be the busiest.
“The Karangahake Historic Walkway and the Karangahake Gorge attract 100,000 visitors per year. The Hauraki Rail Trail will link Paeroa and the start of the Historic Walkway and we expect up to 30,000 people to use it every year,” said Stephenson.
The Rail Trail will provide economic development, recreational opportunities, health benefits and safe off-road routes for the local community. The phenomenal success of rail trails worldwide is predominantly due to the fact that rail corridors are flat which makes ideal terrain for all the family. The trail will connect rural towns with interesting scenery in between and it’s expected that the majority of users will be cyclists.