Ruby Island gets some tender love and care

Michele Lacroix and Jude Battson clean up Ruby Island.

Ruby Island had a productive working bee recently, with many helping out in the face of the recent floods. Gaining access to the island was a “challenge” according to Jude Battson, Wānaka Community Board representative for Ruby Island, as the number of logs floating close to the island blocked traditional tie-up spots. The storage sheds had been flooded, with the BBQ still underwater and the jetty rendered unusable thanks to the water level. 

Battson said it was “hard to believe there was even a track on the west side as the grass was thigh height. It was manicured beautifully at the end of September,” but noted that the wild mix of rain and sun had been beneficial for the native trees in the area. After three hours of hard work, the team of eight had cleared the tracks and dance floor, cleaned the storage shed and toilets, and even pruned some of the weeds. “So all ready to go for the holiday season” Battson declared. 

Battson, along with Diana Manson, Queenstown Lakes District Council parks and reserves officer, will continue to support the new team in future working bees and hopes to get more on board. Battson said, “getting community members to adopt a spot to maintain, is possibly a good way to eradicate the noxious weeds, and keep the island looking great for everyone who wishes to visit.” 

For those who wish to visit the infamous Ruby Island this summer, please respect the beautiful environment that Battson and others have worked so hard to preserve. Don’t light fires or cigarettes, keep your dog on a leash and remember camping is a no-go. Further regular working bees will be advertised. 


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