Students plant 800 native trees

Students enjoying their planting on their native tree expedition.

Students from Owairoa Primary School have spent the day planting hundreds of native trees.

A total of 30 enthusiastic pupils set off to Ness Valley.

They were accompanied by eight parents and four staff – including two Board of Trustee members and Owairoa Primary School’s leader environmental teacher, Babette Maas.

“We’re a Green-Gold enviroschool,” Maas said.

A Green-Gold enviroschool is “teaching and learning that is centred on practices and processes that protect and look after the environment, providing students with a deep understanding of guardianship and how they can positively influence the world around them.”

Out of the 52 students in the Kaitiaki – caretakers of the environment – 30 were chosen for the native tree planting adventure.

The day out was part of the Trees for Survival (TFS) programme.

TFS is a charitable trust which works with schools and local communities to grow and plant native trees along waterways and hillsides.

“It’s a regeneration of native trees and shrubs,” Maas said.

Owairoa Primary has assisted TFS for many years.

Seven months ago the children were given hundreds of seeds.

They cared for them to help them grow until they were a suitable size for planting on “native tree planting day.”

“We usually plant on private property,” Maas said, “from landowners that sign up for TFS.”
Students planted various species of native trees.

“Flax, Mahoe, Manuka, Karamu and Cabbage tree were all planted,” Linzi Hughes, TFS’s regional co-ordinator said.

Their gloves were generously donated by Palmers Garden Centre in Pakuranga.

Peter and Brooklyn, two students that participated in the day out, said that “it was so exhilarating planting trees in the fresh air.”

Alan McIntyre, the Principal, chimed in with congratulations to the expedition.

“It’s great for the environment and great for the planet,” he said.