Tree Crops for Every Microclimate - A tribute to the late GR “Dick” Roberts.
Dick Roberts was a man ahead of his time. He died in 2009 but left a lasting legacy in his vision to give people of all ages an understanding of how they can live with their natural environment, how they can live with nature rather than conquer it. He had a vision for sustainable land use so that people could play a greater part in improving ecological health of their home, local community and ultimately the planet they inhabit.
For over 30 years Dick lived in Todds Valley, Nelson and on 12 hectares, Dick and a great many helpers and enthusiastic students planted 1000’s of trees on the land. The varied topography from steep hillsides to sheltered gullies provided the opportunity for Dick to select and plant tree and food crops suited to a wide variety of natural ecosystems. Dick was one of the founding members of the Tree Crops Association and many trips were made to Todds Valley to watch progress and discuss ideas.
This revegetation project was strongly rooted in the application of horticultural and scientific principles.
When Dick died in 2009, he gifted a sizeable sum of money to the community for ongoing projects related to ecology and the environment.
An outcome of this legacy is to be launched at the Tree Crops conference in 2019 and this will provide an ongoing reference for keen tree croppers and others from all over the country.
Trustee for the Dick Roberts Community Trust. August 2018.