Community meeting held by the Geraldine Lions of South Canterbury New Zealand regarding the future development and maintenance of the Orari River recreational bike tracks.

The Geraldine Lions have reached a crossroads in their future involvement with the Geraldine / Orari river cycle tracks. Since their creation in 2008 these well used and popular tracks which meander 30kms along the Orari River have become a major asset to Geraldine attracting cyclist's walkers and horse riding enthusiasts from near and far.
The tracks were developed by the Lions in consultation with TDC (Timaru District Council) and Ecan (Environment Canterbury). Ecan allow the use and access of their land along with controlling noxious weed eradication along the cycle tracks, the Lions carry out all the major ongoing maintenance of the tracks, this work is carried out by a small number of dedicated Lion volunteers using their own machinery and fuel to maintain 30kms of track! Without these people putting in many hours of work per year the tracks would cease to exist.
The Lions also cannot thank enough members of the public and local companies who supported and helped in our hour of need after the major storm damage last year. Their hard work was much appreciated
Due to other pressures within the Geraldine lions the cycle committee has reached a decision: They feel that future maintenance and running of the cycle tracks should involve the Geraldine community and other funding streams. (This does not include organizing the Annual Geraldine Lions Cycle challenge)
The Geraldine Lions are dedicated to raising money for local and international causes; therefore with other events and future projects the Lions feel maintenance and expenditure of the tracks should not wholly be the lion's responsibility.
A meeting called by the Geraldine Lions on the 5th June at the Geraldine Resource Centre attracted twenty nine attendees with eight apologies. Attendees consisted of nine Geraldine lion’s members and twenty members of the public from Geraldine and as far away as Timaru. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the future running and development of the Orari river cycle and walking tracks, developed over the last six years mainly by the Geraldine Lions.We the Geraldine Lions would like to thank very much the members of the public that attended the meeting and we all now look forward very much to working alongside the new committee and the members of the public who very kindly said they will help.
A lively debate ensued with various suggestions for the way forward, along with strong support for the possible formation of a Mountain bike club in the future to coexist alongside the track maintenance committee.
The meeting was mainly based around the formation of a working group to oversee the running and development of the tracks, to that end it was agreed to form a committee of eight people these committee members consist of four Geraldine Lions (names to be advised at a later date) and four members of the public who came on board at the meeting.
Alan Kelly, Geraldine Lions cycle committee chairman, thanked the gathering for showing their support and the generous offers made by people on the night for use of their own machines and equipment to be used on maintenance of the tracks. Alan Kelly commented on the variety of ages attending and their support and enthusiasm which was well received by the Geraldine Lions, members of the Geraldine community board were also in attendance and added their support. The evening concluded with a thank you from Alan Kelly to all

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