Many of you will know that the Mercury Bay Environmental Trust grew out of the Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre. When the School closed, we didn't really know what was next, but we did know that we didn’t want the environmental projects, that we had been working on for seven years, to close down as well.

Alicia Lose, a past student who was working for us at the school at that time, shared that sentiment and together we decided to find a way to keep the good work happening.

Together we did the early work that lead to the establishment of MBET. Throughout the hard times when we didn’t know where the next dollar was coming from, through all the little victories we had along the way, learning by doing as we worked out how to gather seeds from various native trees, how to germinate them, how to manage much bigger numbers of plants, to run planting days, deal with loosing plants to drought or erosion, and being strong enough to just get out there and plant those areas again.

Then as the MBET organisation got stronger around us, funds started to become available and we were able to design and then build the new Native Plant Nursery that we are now so proud of. Alicia was my constant assistant, idea provider and “Girl Friday” throughout all those things. The straight lines in our nursery are Alicia’s doing.

But all good things must come to an end, and Alicia is moving on. She has landed her dream job as a Ranger for the Department of Conservation. She is still here in Whitianga so we will still see her, and I am sure she will check up on me to make sure I am keeping the nursery tidy enough. This new job is a great opportunity for her and will allow her to continue to build a future in conservation.

All of us at MBET say thank you for all the effort you have put into this organisation, Alicia, and we wish you all the best for your future!

written by Kim Lawry – Trustee


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