Dirt under the nails

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For students the climax of their TfS year is planting day and for 2013 they’re well under way. News of very successful events is arriving thick and fast, so here a few to start the recording.

Eighty seven children from Pinehill School arrived at Grant McCullough’s property in Waitoki, and worked extremely hard all day on two sites with approximately 1400 trees planted. “The children and their families worked very hard; I have never worked at a day where so many trees were planted. Fantastic! Pinehill School should be very proud of themselves” says Sarah Brenchley, TfS Field Officer, Auckland North & West.

“The McCullough’s have been landowners with TfS for about 12 years and it was fantastic to see the major difference made to the area. It’s also great that the children get to see the purpose of the programme; how every tree they plant makes a difference”


 Pinehill students on a hilly slope

Point View School kicked off the Auckland South planting season, planting on the Eaglen property, a few minutes from their school grounds, where the Eaglen family helped Auckland Council PDC Sue Crawshay to lay out the seedlings for this sloping site very close to the Mangemangeroa Reserve.

After a health and safety chat, and an introduction to the task, the keen group of children worked in teams to dig holes, fertilise and plant their TfS seedlings.  An encouraging example was set by Mr James Lee of the Rotary Club of Somerville and teachers Ksenia Tauroa and Sherri Rhodes who pitched in alongside their classes.

Dianne Patterson, TfS  Field Officer, Auckland South said, “Later everyone formed a bucket brigade to distribute mulch quickly to all the young trees before enjoying lunch catered by landowners Sarah & Michael.”

With three beehives adjacent to the site, Sue took the opportunity to explain how a hive is set up and the roles of the three different bee types in each colony. She emphasised the importance of bees in the fertilisation of flowers for our food crops; explaining in relation to this also the concerns people have about declining bee populations.

Prior to planting During planting– the busy ‘bees’!  Mulching – bucket brigade

And coming up – early August Wymondley Road School will be planting at the Rusden’s Glenbrook property. Recently, in less than one hour, Year 5 and 6 pupils pricked out 350 seedlings and potted on 50 larger flax seedlings. Done with much tender care and happy laughter, the plants will surely thrive this year!

Pricking out karamu, kahikatea and potting up flax seedlings. A keen Enviro group with teacher Jodi Southon, left, and Auckland Council Field Officer Kate Smith at their PGU