Te Taitorerau/ Northland Region instigated and have been engaged with the WaiRestoration initiative and for many years have had a strong biodiversity focus across their Enviroschools network. The regional Enviroschools team utilised the 2022 1BT funding to support nursery/shade house developments in three Enviroschools:
- Paparore School in Awanui – funding enabled a new nursery in the school grounds. The school has been involved in planting native trees since 1999 and to date have planted around 40,000 trees. They were the inaugural recipients of the Green Ribbon Award for youth groups for the Lake Ngatu Re-Vegetation Project. Paparore started this reforestation project adjacent to the school and Lake Ngatu to teach students the importance of trees to our environment. The school is working closely with Ngai Takoto Environmental Kaimahi and the Bushlands Trust nursery based at Kaitaia Intermediate School. The school reports:
“The students have learned so much from our involvement in the planting over the years. Our reforestation project now has an established forest floor. This is enjoyed by the public who experience it via a walk through the forest as part of a lake walkway.”
Ruawai College utilised the funding to upgrade their existing nursery with an irrigation system that runs on timers. The college grows native eco-sourced riparian species as part of their involvement in the wider Kaipara Moana Remediation project. They are working in with their neighbouring kindergarten and primary school – which are also Enviroschools. This is a great example of project-based learning. Students in the agricultural and horticultural classes are gaining life skills, NCEA qualifications and making a valuable contribution to a number of on-going planting projects – on local farms, the wetland walkway, the school waterway and a joint school planting area.
- Kokopu School in Whangārei used the funding to design and install a system to collect rainwater from their existing shade house, which is used to raise native plants. Previously, water ran off the shade house roof onto the unsealed school carpark. Students were involved in the planning, design and implementation of the system. By using a series of 250L tanks (3 installed to date) the system can be easily upgraded to store more water if needed. This project is part of a wider initiative. The school is having new wastewater infrastructure installed and the new septic system pumps up to a spare block of land at the back of the school. As part of that project, the school will be planting native plants (raised in the shade house) to absorb the nutrients. So, having a reliable source of water is really valuable.
Banner image: Ruawai College students at a previous planting day