To achieve their environmental education goals, schools must have the support of community resources. This requires building relationships with family members, community leaders, community-based organizations, business groups, public amenities and local government.
School leaders know that building and sustaining these relationships create vital community partnerships essential for the on-going well-being and successful of a school culture.
Trees for Survival (TfS) is a community partnership which centres its activities on schools, helping to facilitate beneficial relationships with parents and grandparents, community groups, local business sponsors and supporters, landowners and Councils. Under the TfS umbrella, this community partnership works co-operatively to restore and sustain damaged environments by focusing on growing native trees and planting them to prevent erosion, improve stream flow, enhance water quality and increase native biodiversity.
The TfS partnership is summarized in the diagram below but there is plenty of flexibility in how the model is implemented.
For example, one of the first schools, Pakuranga College, to become a TfS school was supported by the Pakuranga Rotary Club which was the Unit Sponsor and still is the School Sponsor. In this latter role, the Club provides the annual funding which enables TfS to supply the seedlings, materials and support that enable the school to grow their trees. Auckland Council staff assists the school by providing horticultural expertise, a landowner contact whose land requires restoration and a coordinator to supervise the tree planting on planting day. As part of their commitment, the Pakuranga Rotary Club provides voluntary help in caring for the growing plants, as well as adult volunteers to assist on planting day.
Another community partnership in Auckland which enables schools to receive regular deliveries of seedlings, potting mix and orders for materials such as root trainers and potting bags is that our TfS Champion Multistrut Industries warehouses all the materials which schools need, then they compile and deliver orders to schools. Also a number of Auckland Rotary Clubs assist with these deliveries when rostered, making for a most efficient, economic and effective distribution system in their region.
In Tauranga, Bethlehem College has been a long-term participant in the TfS programme. Here the Rotary Club of Tauranga Te Papa was initially the Unit Sponsor and the School Sponsor. Recently the funding component of the latter has been taken over by TfS Foundation Supporter TAURA Natural Ingredients as part of that company’s commitment to supporting the environment. Bethlehem College and volunteers from its two School Sponsors participate in the planting of the Kopurererua Valley, a Tauranga Centennial Project set up by the Rotary Clubs of Tauranga and the Tauranga City Council.
Further community participation is from the Tauranga Environment Centre which provides the TfS management support for schools and Palmers Garden Centre in Bethlehem warehouses potting mix and materials; rounding out the partnership is Mark Dean, Director of Naturally Native and which supplies the seedlings.
In the Wellington region another partnership is being explored. Nga Hau e Wha o Papararangi (NHEWOP) marae and Newlands College with Unit and School Sponsor Tetra Pak, planning for the students not only to propagate native trees at a community nursery but they will also participate in the 20 year planting plan at NHEWOP which will involve ecological restoration and the use of native plants for weaving, medicine and food. In addition they plan to plant Seton Nossiter Park, Kentwood Drive Reserve and Waihinahina Park as well!
TfS provides management support which the Wellington Branch of Multistrut Industries backs up with warehousing and deliveries.
Finally, St Patrick’s School in Te Awamutu is a further variation of a successful TfS partnership. Fonterra (Te Awamutu) provides a great example of corporate environmental leadership; it is both the Unit and School Sponsor. Fonterra staff provide expertise to ensure good horticultural practice at the school thus enabling St Patrick’s to participate in the Lower Mangapiko Stream riparian planting project. In addition, the Lower Mangapiko Stream Care Group volunteers assist with plant care and planting day.
Enviroschools facilitators from the Waikato Regional Council provide TfS management as well as horticultural guidance as required while Phillips Native Seedlings supply the seedlings and RD1, Te Awamutu, gives space to store potting mix.
Schools which have environmental education goals need community support. Rotary Clubs throughout New Zealand have shown the way and a number of corporate sponsors have seen benefits from being environmentally responsible and aware. There are TfS schools nationwide which need help
– why not step up now, Get Involved and support your local school
and help prevent erosion, improve stream flow, enhance water quality
and increase native biodiversity in your area?
More examples of Community Partnerships: Read more >>