The Central App

Records of 35 years of beautifying Central on show

The Central App

Anna Robb

08 July 2024, 5:30 PM

Records of 35 years of beautifying Central on showKACB members and 20 locals planted close to 100 natives from Clyde Railhead community nursery at Shaky Bridge reserve on June 23 thanks to a grant from Contact Energy. PHOTO: Supplied

Not for profit organisation Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful (KACB) is marking 35 years of community contribution with an exhibition at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery in Alexandra. 

KACB archivist Ann Wills has been collating material from minutes, news clippings, awards, certificates and photos for a display covering the years of voluntary work by members.


Ann said 1000 volunteer hours are put in by KACB members each year.

“As we celebrate our 35th anniversary of service to the community, we like to think the group has made a huge difference, not only to the environment, but to people’s lives as they have helped create an even more beautiful area to live in, enjoy and respect.

Ann Wills hopes the archive can be a future community resource. PHOTO: Supplied 

“Recent members to KACB have been surprised how much work has been done over the years. We hope the public sees that too.

“Special thanks must go to those that recorded detail, took photos, maintained and updated all the archive material held. It’s a wonderful record of community input by volunteers.”

The group was formed in December 1988 after Keep New Zealand Beautiful (KNZB) approached Central Otago District Council (CODC) to suggest a group for the district.

Doug Stewart was elected president with Agnes Roy elected secretary. 

Initially the group sold litter bags, fish nets for trailers and completed litter counts at 26 sites reporting results to the KNZB national body.

In the early 1990s, the group helped to develop the town belt with plantings on Manuherikia Rd, then more plantings were completed from Tarbert St to the railroad bridge. 

Another project included beautifying the northern entrance (Clyde side) to town, a lot of which remains today.

Projects were varied and widespread, including naming of trees at Pioneer Park, hanging baskets in Alexandra, the annual best street and cul-de-sac competition, creating historic plaques, upgrading reserves such as Blackmore Park, the cherry tree avenue in Clyde, Kamaka Walkway, Rail Trail corridor, Alexandra lookout rebuild, Linger and Die plantings, Project Gold plantings, Lookout Reserve and Shaky Bridge plantings.

KACB has supported the Rotary ‘Trees for Babies’ programme over numerous years and added a number of seats to the area for community use.

Funding came initially from CODC, but many other funding bodies and groups have assisted with funds, manpower and equipment over the years.

A donation from the former Glad McArthur Book Committee has been integral to KACB’s existence.

Leaders driving the success of initiatives have been members of the community Malcolm Macpherson, Denis Cronin, Agnes Roy, Maureen Davies, Ann Wills, David Beer and current chairperson Bev Thomson. 

In 1999 and 2006 Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful was awarded the KNZB ‘Beautiful Town’ award for towns under 8000 people, showcasing what a small group can achieve in presenting their town in a national competition.

The exhibition is in the Heafey Gallery at Central Stories from July 22 to August 18 from 9am to 5pm. The official opening is 4.30pm on July 26. 

To contact KACB email [email protected] or see KACB’s club listing.