Let’s hope for a gorgeous summer

Howick Local Board chairperson Adele White says locals will appreciate being able to get out and about and socialise again. Times photo Wayne Martin

By Adele White, chairperson Howick Local Board

Kia ora!

The ability to be out and about to shop, have a long-awaited haircut or attend small gatherings has brought joy to many.

Brighter, warmer days have lifted our spirits and council contractors have been out and about preparing our parks for summer.

Perfect for a picnic

The mowing teams are back in full swing after work was paused during the higher Covid-19 alert levels.

Parks and reserves across the Howick Local Board area are looking pristine and beautifully managed.

How neat it’s been to see local residents enjoying bubble-friendly picnics in many of our parks including those in Howick Village.

Summer planting

Annual plantings were recently removed from gardens around Howick.

The good plants were bundled and put out on the footpath for residents to come and collect with the remainder composted at the contractor’s depot.

The new plantings have a definite summer feel to them, bringing bright colour to the Howick ward.

A total of 125 trees have been planted throughout the area during this planting season.

These are to replace those that have failed elsewhere, and some have been planted at the request of local residents with a view to providing shade within reserves for future years.

Preparing for sport

Since the move to alert level three, council contractors have worked hard preparing sports fields in preparation for summer.

The unfortunate delay to sport due to Covid restrictions has provided time to prepare the fields and get them in the best possible condition.

Mowing crews are slowly bringing down the mowing heights on all platforms and despite some spring flush, they’re slowly achieving a great surface.

Cricket wicket blocks have been completed, fields under-sown with seed and summer grass fields sprayed out. Surfaces are scarified to remove dead matter and summer lines are marked out making fields ready for cricket, set to start on December 4.

Preparations for other sports will commence early next year.

Pest Free Howick

One of the elements of a good community is the contribution of volunteers.

We gratefully acknowledge the work residents are doing to protect the flora and fauna, both in parks and on private land, by trapping possums, rabbits and mustelids.

Trap Library East Auckland is a combined initiative of Rotary, Lions and Friends of Mangemangeroa making traps available to local residents.

Anyone interesting in hosting a trap in strategic locations can contact traplibraryeastauckland@gmail.com.

The Local Board is also proud of the Pest Free Howick Ward – Cadetship Programme, which was a finalist in the 2021 Mayoral Conservation Awards.

Celebrating Cultures 2022

Our annual signature event, Celebrating Cultures, is all about celebrating the diverse people of the Howick ward.

It’s returning to Barry Curtis Park on March 19, 2022, and we are now inviting expressions of interest for performers and stallholders.

Application details are listed on Howick Local Board Facebook page.

The forthcoming festive season

I hope you’re able to indulge in something uplifting that brings some of the happy times we’ve missed over the last long months.

Be patient and gentle with others. Many have been victims of the outcomes of lockdown and, for some, integrating back into a normal lifestyle will be difficult. Keep safe and stay well.

Seasonal blessings