A pretty path reclaimed from urban bush is the hidden secret of Crestwood
Stan’s Walk is named for Stan Eliot, the ‘quiet, charming’ resident whose vision for a village bushwalk brought together the local west-Auckland community to create a meandering, half-kilometre, native-lined path that runs between the village and Titirangi Golf Club.
Stan, a former farmer, rallied residents, the local scout group and the Council to work on the year-long project to reclaim impenetrable, debris-filled scrub, remove felled logs and develop a useable, attractive path for residents. Stan’s Walk was officially opened in 1988.
Crestwood’s Resident Chairperson, Bet Mitchell
For many years the pathway was maintained by village gardeners, but eventually became neglected and overgrown – until it was re-discovered by Bet Mitchell, Crestwood’s Resident Chairperson, as she was out walking.
“Looking around I could see that Stan’s Walk was still there; it just needed a bit of TLC,” Bet said. “So, armed with loppers, secateurs and rake, I spent a very happy two weeks touching it up.”
Bet has since recruited the Crestwood ‘Bushwhackers’, residents who meet regularly, armed with rakes and spades, to keep the paths clean of leaves and debris and cut back the overgrowth. They’ve replaced rotten seating and rejuvenated The Glade – a shaded area for gatherings.
The enjoyment the project brings has been motivation enough for Bet.
“After a lifetime of working in jobs that I didn’t particularly like, I came here and found myself doing stuff that I really enjoy,” she said. “I know that what I do is giving pleasure to other people and making their lives more enjoyable. My hope is that we can keep this going so it’s always ready for the next resident to enjoy.”