The outcome of Toimata Foundation partnering with the One Billion Trees (1BT) has meant that in 2022 funding has been spent in Enviroschools regionally to grow and extend action through holistic, ecosystem approaches. The Enviroschools team invited Otago Enviroschools to apply for 1BT funding of up to $500 to support their ecological restoration projects in 2022.
“We had nine excellent applications and were able to contribute funding toward all of their projects. All of the funding supports long-term planting and propagation projects. These projects are connecting to local communities in a range of ways. Some are looking after an area in the community, some are propagating plants with the view to selling the plants to farmers and other community groups for riparian planting and restoration projects. A number of the schools are working very closely with their local community nurseries to develop the skills required to successfully propagate eco-sourced seeds. Students from the high school that applied for funding developed their project and are putting their plan into action. All of the schools and ECE that applied for this funding are integrating caring for Te Taiao into their learning and into their practices, as well as strengthening their community connections.” – Robyn Zink – Enviroschools Regional Coordinator, ORC
A great example of the mahi taking place is from Waitaki Valley School. The school has joined forces with Hakataramea Sustainability Collective Inc. to establish The Community Native Nursery Project, based at Waitaki Valley School in Kurow. They have set-up Waitaki Valley Community Native Nursery | Facebook to share their journey. Recently, students have been learning from a local expert about how to care for seedlings, including the best ways to repot growing plants. They plan to make a tutorial video to share their learnings more widely.
- Maniototo Area School have been propagating native plants to plant at school and on local farms.
- Otago Girls High School have a ‘Plant Club’ and students have been busy propagating plants and supporting planting projects both on their school site and Mornington Park in association with local infrastructure company Delta.
- Te Kura o Take Kārara planted three large trees to provide shade for their bike track.
- Shotover Primary School developed their existing on-site propagation systems by building raised beds to house native plants while they are hardened off before planting in local wetlands. Weed mat and stones were put around the beds as they were previously very muddy and slippery to walk around. They also installed a new sprinkler system for more efficient watering.
South Otago Kindergarten undertook planting to enhance their newly created local bike park.
“As the park grows and develops, so will the children and the trees they have planted. Just think of the sense of pride they will have riding tracks with their friends and pointing out ‘their’ trees.” – Kaiako/Teacher, South Otago Kindergarten
- Waiwera South Primary propagated 600 new trees from seed as well as maintaining existing planting (adding protectors) and repotting plants propagated last year.
- Warepa School in South Otago had a focus on an existing on-site planting project that had been damaged by rabbits.
Across the region the 10 projects have planted and/or propagated over 1,300 trees and shrubs. There has been significant community involvement and a wide range of learning for the students including practical skills, biodiversity knowledge, and Mātauranga Māori.