High point of the TfS year

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The educational work and skills training of the TfS programme takes place at the PGU and in the classroom, but the major environmental impact starts with the annual planting days which are a new beginning. Some recent planting days are reviewed.

 Sarah Brenchley reports from West Auckland:
Waitakere School’s planting on 20 June was a great day.  Cindy Delaney, the landowner and a teacher at Waitakere School, has purchased a block of land to grow fruit and vegetables, using permaculture principles, in order to create fresh food parcels for those in need in Ranui. This community project has a huge vision which includes educating people about growing and cooking healthy food.

“Two classes were involved in a joint activity, with one planting several hundred native trees along a bank to prevent erosion and protect the stream, and another class planting fruit trees and creating banana pits.”

Planting day 2014 in full swing

The overall development of the project is shown after planting day 2013

Sarah, who has recently left to travel overseas, expressed great enthusiasm that over the last four years her two children have been able to experience planting days with her and learn by joining in.

Dianne Patterson reports from South Auckland:
In July, under the watchful eye of teacher Richard Fullerton, St Kentigern College planting day was held on the Bell property in Clevedon Road, Ardmore. Great support was supplied by an enthusiastic team from the Rotary Club of Pakuranga including John and Lavinia McMillan, Jose Dallimore, Bruce Martin, Geoff Shapland and Sylvie Wilkinson.

Richard says, “It was a wonderful day in the sunshine, NO rain, and the Bell family had prepared things so well. Alan and Adrienne Bell had planted some the day before and will finish off the few plants we did not manage to get into the ground. They had looked after last year’s plants well with very few losses except some cabbage trees to hare and rabbit munching! The Bells say they may well come back up this next growing season.

“This really is a wonderful way of getting more plants in the community and a worthwhile experience for the students, who did very well, and us older folk!”

Sylvie Wilkinson commented on “the excellent work ethic all round shown by the wonderful young people.” She also snapped Jose, wife of new Pakuranga Rotary President John Dallimore, who slipped when climbing through a farm fence! Jose is a strong TfS supporter, volunteering at Pakuranga College, Mellons Bay and Pakuranga Intermediate schools.


Beccy Dove reports from Thames:
“In early August, 40 children from Thames South and St Francis School together with teachers, parents and council staff planted 400 natives in the Hauraki Tce Reserve. Adding to 400 natives already planted in June, the students have created a beautiful swathe of regenerating bush along what was until recently a stream lined on the Hauraki Tce Reserve side with some flax and a variety of noxious weeds.

“On the other side the stream the reserve borders the William Hall Reserve which is a former private nursery operated in the early 1900’s by Mr John William Hall, a botanist and local chemist. This reserve, containing an incredible collection of nationally and internationally significant trees grown from seedlings in the early 1870s, is believed to be the oldest arboretum in New Zealand.  The new plantings which extend and enhance the edges of the reserve will create more habitat and food for native species.


“Thames South students had already claimed a sense of ownership of this Hauraki Reserve, having recently worked with their teacher to approach the Thames Coromandel District Council about upgrading its playground.  This approach came at the right moment with Derek Thompson from TCDC saying the playground was overdue for a makeover. After the Thames Community Board approved funding, council staff worked closely with the students to get the project designed and completed.

“Alongside this a local community group Thames be fruitful have planted 40 fruit trees above the newly planted natives and there is a rumour of a community garden being started here!  A bare reserve with a run-down playground in the middle of a poorer part of town has been an amazing transformation thanks to a creative partnership between TfS schools, the local Council and a community group creating a beautiful new environment to delight, excite and feed both humans and wildlife.”

And finally – welcome to Aorere College – see http://www.aorere.ac.nz/news/trees-for-survival/

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