A collaboration between Masterton’s community groups and the Masterton District Council is helping keep families warm while also increasing funding for charitable projects.

The Council regularly calls in contractors to fell or prune dead or unhealthy trees at the Henley Lake Reserve. Previously, who ended up with the wood was often a case of first-in, first-served.

That was until the Council teamed up with the Henley Lake Trust to manage a fairer and more community-minded approach.

Now the Henley Lake Trust manages the distribution of wood to either the Masterton Rotary Club or the Lions Club.

Henley Lake Trust Chair Tom Ward says both groups sell the wood at a “fair market price” to a growing list of buyers, many of whom are elderly and need help getting wood for winter.

“The best part about it is that all of the proceeds from the sale of firewood go back into the charitable trusts held by Rotary and Lions.

“It means that trees planted for the community are continuing to provide benefits even after they are dead and hauled away.”

Previous projects funded through the charitable trusts include putting in BBQs at Henley Lake and the Neill Inkster Memorial Courtyard at the Wairarapa Hospital.

Mr Ward, a retired forester, says much of the wood makes for good burning, which is proven by repeat customers through the Rotary Club, of which he is also a member.

Recent work to remove trees at Henley Lake has been underway for the last few weeks with the resulting wood earmarked for delivery for the 2020 winter to avoid people burning wet wood.

Masterton District Council Community Facilities and Activities Manager Andrea Jackson said it was pleasing to see people band together for the benefit of the community.

“This is a classic case of small things making a big difference in our community. I’d like to personally thank all of those that have been involved.”

 

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