In fact, it’s 92,500 natives planted on Matiu/Somes Island, turning it from a barren rat-infested island back into a haven for native species.
So it’s fitting that under a little tree in picturesque Avalon Park in Lower Hutt is a little plaque commemorating his life.
A life member of Lower Hutt Forest and Bird, he played a vital role in the 30-year project to replant the island. By 2006 he had estimated the number of trees he had planted to be 92,500.
With the planting of native bush came the chance to return Tuatara to the island in 1998.
He received the Queen’s service medal in 2006 for his environmental work.
Stan became interested in native bush growing up as a young boy in Nelson. The native fuchsia trees entranced him.
Stan was inspired by the stories of Johnny Appleseed - John Chapman in real life - an 18th century American nurseryman who distributed and sold apple tree seedlings to pioneers through Ohio and Indiana.
He left school intending to become a surveyor. He married his childhood sweetheart then decided to go into teaching.
He trained at Wellington College in the 40’s and was principal for Korokoro and Epuni schools but it was once he retired, that his fascination with nature led him to begin the projects that would define his life.
Although he had been a paying member of Forest and Bird since 1941, he never went to a meeting until 1981, only a few days after he retired.
The next day he was asked to join the council and then went to a planning meeting about Somes Island.
Since then he has raised hundreds of little trees in his back garden, many destined for their new life on the island.
Stan died in 2006 aged 94 and was cremated. He truly left a living legacy.