At the end of last term, Lloyd Weldschidt HOD Science, and Beryl McKinnell, TfS Programme Coordinator of Papatoetoe High School were presented with the school’s Kowhai Award 2014. With assistance from members of the Rotary Club of Papatoetoe West, Mrs McKinnell promptly planted the kowhai seedling on the banks of the adjacent stream, a tributary of the Otara Stream, directly behind the PGU. This area is part of the school’s Wai Care programme.
It was also an occasion to salute Mrs. McKinnell for her ten years of dedication to TfS beginning at Papakura High School in 2004 and then Otahuhu College the following year. She has spent long hours ensuring its success and has gone through frustrating times finding water timers turned off, or arriving from a holiday to greet and revive dying seedlings. Usually the PGU has produced an outstanding number – 1500 to 1800 healthy seedlings; her passion for planting native seedlings and revegetation of the land has been passed on the hundreds of teenagers attending the High School. We trust she will continue to share her love for our natural environment at her new home in the Bay of Plenty and wish her all the very best!
Asked for her comments, Beryl said, “I had a small amount of involvement with TfS when I was at Papakura High School, which is where I learnt about the programme. I became very involved when I moved to Otahuhu College. Along with two other teachers, we were instrumental in preventing the caretaker from bulldozing the horticulture area. We put the TfS programme into the school to make sure the greenhouse, shadehouse, irrigation system and garden area were retained; today they form an integral part of the horticulture programme at OC.”
After acknowledging her recognition, Beryl went on, “Aren’t those Rotary folks good fun – was awesome working with them this year”.
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