Capital visit sees varied activity

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Down in the Capital
Visiting the Wellington region in July, TfS National Manager, Don Roa, accompanied by Wellington Regional Manager, Peter Gilberd, visited several schools in the Wairarapa, from Whareama School (est. 1897), 40 km north-east of Masterton, to Pirinoa School (est. 1887), a few kilometres from the Palliser Bay coastline.

Students at Whareama School have been planting the dunes at Riversdale and also riparian planting near the school. Principal Darren Kerr and teacher Katz Taylor are keen to join TfS, as is Lorraine Southey, principal of Pirinoa School, which has been carrying out coastal and wetland restoration. Don and Peter also visited Douglas Park School, Greytown School, Featherston School and Martinborough School. 

The TfS team caught up with Karyn Burgess, Gill Stewart and Esther Dijkstra, from Enviroschools, as well as Warren Field and Toni de Lautour from the Greater Wellington Regional Council, to hear about the excellent work being carried out in the Wairarapa by these organisations and to discuss how TfS complements their work.

Don Roa sees the Wairarapa as an area ideal for the TfS programme, given the high level of interest from the schools and the unique natural environment that is literally on their doorsteps.

Maddison, left, and Jade in the shade-house at Featherston School

Darren Kerr, left, Katz Taylor and Peter Gilbert at Whareama School

Douglas Park School PGU


Shade house at Jay Street


Then followed a visit to Aotea Home, a hospital level home in Johnsonville, where Don took part in a pricking out and potting on session The residents love this activity and are pleased to be contributing plants that end up in local reserves.

There was time for a look at progress at the Jay St Community Nursery in Newlands, which is supplying many of the seedlings to schools in the region. Peter says, “Within a year, the community has built a 140 sq. m shade house, storage for pots and potting mix, and installed a well-appointed shipping container with French doors, to provide a covered work area and secure storage.”

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