A memorable day at the beach

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This report on the planting day at Horotiu Beach by Horotiu School, shows the TfS programme working at all levels – the nurturing/growing process for the plants; the field work on planting day; the interaction with community groups; the development of good writing and communications skills with evidence of a clear understanding of what the programme entails; ie successful classroom work in conjunction with the field work.

Horotiu teacher Adrienne Pemberton writes:

A good day’s work

Room 8 and all the Envirokidz had a speedy walk down to the Horotiu Beach where we were met by Adrienne Grant from Enviroschools, Andrew and his colleague from Te Awa Ride, and Weka from Ngati Haua. Our fabulous caretaker Mr Wood was also there, having brought down 370 plants grown in our PGU.

Weka gave a karakia and then told a story about one of his tupuna who escaped his two angry brothers-in-law by jumping across the awa. It is said that he left his footprint embedded in one of the boulders along the river… Some of us went looking to find it and guess what… we’re still looking for it.

Working in pairs we plant karamu trees, cabbage trees (te kouka) and flaxes (harakeke). With the holes already dug, it didn’t take too long; then we made sure we did our tree dance and our ‘tug’ test to ensure our plants were firmly in the ground.

It was great that the junior classes came down to see our work. We explained how and why we plant at the river – how the trees will stop soil erosion, as well as sieving toxins out of the soil, to protect our waterways. Our trees will grow tall and help bring back birds and insects.

Three students give their impressions of the programme
Jarel writes:
At school we have been pricking out and planting plants in pots and putting them on the trays. The names of the trees are cabbage trees, flaxes and karamu. The flaxes are the plant that looks like a family (baby, mother and father, and then grandparents).

The things we need to plant the plants are soil, bags for the plants and spades (trowels) to get the soil out. When we put a plant in a bag we have to check it to see if it is right so we do the tug test to see if the plant is strong. When the trees in bags are ready they will be put down at the Horotiu River.

The children that are in the Enviro-group are from Room 7, 8, 2 and 1, and on Fridays we prick out, pot on and plant trees. The most important thing is the trees – we need trees – they give us air to breathe.

Nikaia writes:

Part of the Horotiu River which is called the Beach

On Thursday we walked down to a part by the river and it is called the beach. When we arrived there we saw 4 instructors. They told us their names – they were Ben, Andrew, Weka and Adrienne Grant. First they started with a karakia then one of the men told us a story about the river and one of his ancestors.
After that we went off planting in partners. My partner was Brylah. We planted the first ones together – I held Brylah’s plant while she put the dirt in, and then we planted side-by-side. Brylah and I planted about 60 plants. After all were done we went to see the leaves that in olden days they used to use for soap and perfume. The man said that we could pick some of them and then we smelled them – they smelt like lemon.

After we smelt the lemon tree we went down to the river to wash our hands. We were supposed to get soap and do it at the top but just about everyone was already down by the river. After we washed our hands we went up to the tables to have kai – there were oranges and biscuits. After that we had to go and pick up rubbish. Then we were allowed to play and most of us went up the hill. I saw so many beautiful rocks. I picked some up and showed them to the teacher who said we need to put the rocks back because they had been trucked in here so this part of the river would look beautiful.

Reece writes:
Last week Room 8 and the Enviro-kidz went to our fantastic beach to do some tree planting for our environment to make it healthy. Before we left we brought some snacks to eat while we were there. We also needed a partner to help us – I decided to go with my friend Olivia ’cause she is so enthusiastic.

When we arrived we saw a lady and two men. The lady’s name was Adrienne and one of the men’s name was Weka and the other was Andrew. Weka told us a story about a man who jumped over the river to the other side. (Wow!)

Let’s get Planting! So first we dug a hole then we carefully took the plant out of the packet and we planted it. Then my favourite part – the tree dance (Yeah!). After that it started getting hotter so Ms P. (our teacher) said we could take 5 (break-time), so we took out our snacks then we had a little splash around in the river (Cool!)…

After that Room 4A, (Room 4 and Room 5) came along to have a look at our trees – then we told them about what type of trees we had planted, after a while we all went back to school.

I will never forget that day.

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