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Working . . . WaterForce design and sales engineer Rob Thomson turns on the irrigation system, to the delight of Waiareka Lions, civic dignitaries, and project supporters. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

“One of the smallest irrigation schemes in the district” was opened by Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher last Friday.

He unveiled a plaque at the Friendly Bay playground, where an irrigation system has been installed largely by volunteers. The Waiareka Lions Club put in 508 hours of labour to ensure the grass at the site will be lush year-round.

It’s official . . . Waiareka Valley Lions Club president John Thompson (left) watched Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher unveil the plaque acknowledging the irrigation project. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

Lions president John Thompson said the project was proposed by the Oamaru Multisport Club during consultation on last year’s Waitaki District Council Annual Plan. The Lions took it up, contributing $2340 of its own funds plus $2000 from the Lloyd Morgan Lions Club Charitable Trust.

Twenty Lions members were involved, and crews of 12 spent three and a-half days at the playground. Mr Thompson said one passer-by thought the council had gone overboard with its workforce, and another thought the men were Iona rest-home residents out for the day.

Council parks officer Mike Kwant thanked the Lions for their input, which meant the grass would no longer be “indistinct from rock”.

“Every summer from here on in, there will be green grass for the kids to run around on and we can hold events here.”

He also thanked the other contributors – MS and ME McCabe, Under & Out Drilling, and WaterForce. The outcome is 32 pop-up sprinklers on 11 lines, with a programmable control station so the system can be worked remotely.

Work in progress . . . A trench is dug for the irrigation line at the Friendly Bay playground. PHOTO: SUPPLIED