June 5 was World Environment Day 2020 and Ōrākei Local Board celebrated by recognising Kevin Bishop, a local environmental hero.
Kevin Bishop has lived in the Remuera neighbourhood for 28 years and is a long-term advocate for improvements to Canon Park community greenspace which shares a boundary with his property.
“Over the years I had seen this area become unloved and yet in such a good location for community use,” Kevin explains of his years working to upkeep and improve the local park.
“I took it upon myself to improve this little corner and have made an effort to plant with a long-term view, which I hope means the community will continue to enjoy the work for years to come. I probably only spend about 15 minutes a week mowing the area, which is great exercise, and I do a bit of weeding here and there if needed."
Councillor Desley Simpson, who was involved in the installation of a proper path through Canon Park approximately seven years ago, says "Kevin has selflessly given his time hand mowing the grass, and spent his own money purchasing plants, helping make Canon Park a special jewel in the Ōrākei Local Board's crown.
“Today we acknowledge the generous work of Kevin Bishop, one of Ōrākei’s Environmental Heroes.
"Kevin has dedicated years caring for this small, but important, part of our neighbourhood, and the beauty the area now boasts is a monument to his efforts.”
Kevin has recently made plans to move out of the area, and Scott Milne, Ōrākei Local Board Chair, says the door is now open to other volunteers willing to lend a hand.
"We are very sad to lose Kevin, even though we know he will love the gardens and tree-lined charm of Havelock North, but hope, should he venture this way again, that he finds Canon Park in as flourishing good health as he leaves it today," says Scott.
"We are looking for volunteers from the local community to keep up the good work, so please let us know if you are interested. A lawnmower can be provided.”
Canon Park is located off Kenneth Small Place and Pohutukawa Place, Remuera.