The Enviroschools team at Environment Southland/ Murihiku are using funding from the 1 Billion Trees partnership with Toimata Foundation to support the involvement of schools in the Waihōpai Planting Programme. This is a long-term project, initiated by the Southland Regional Council, that involves working with the wider community to restore the health of the Waihōpai River.
In May 2022 students from James Hargest College (JHC) got hands on at the Waihopai Restoration Planting Site. This action project was part of their learning about climate change and effective mitigation methods. Working alongside staff from the council, students planted native trees including ti kouka, mingimingi, mānatu, and various Pittosporum species. Students learned about the history of this site and the community input into the planting programme. They also gained knowledge about seed collection and sowing as one of their next steps is plant propagation.
Eight schools have been involved in learning and hands-on action at the site (this includes a kindergarten, home-school network, primary and secondary schools). So far, over 200 meters of riparian planting has been undertaken. The 1BT funding supported equipment, an information sign, and guards/stakes to support the growing plants.
Banner image: Celebrating the installation of the Waihōpa Restoration Project information panel.