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Only a rain-delayed planting by Te Awamutu College is left after a sunny planting season in the Waikato. Most of the activity has been along the Te Awa River Ride, coordinated by Project Manager, Andrew Roche from Te Awa Trust, funded by the Waikato River Authority and facilitated by Enviroschools facilitators.
After much of the hard work had been carried out by Ngati Haua Mahi Trust workers using post-hole borers, the students of Horotiu School planted along the banks of the nearby Waikato River. A local kaumatua talked about the history of the name Horotiu and expressed a hope that the students would continue their care of the river. With the planting site within walking distance of their school, it is hoped that the students will continue their guardianship by returning in the future to release these plants from weeds and to enjoy watching them grow to maturity.
Pukete Primaryplanted along another part of the Waikato River. In each of these plantings about 400 healthy
plants were contributed by the schools and bulked up by a contribution from Te Awa.
Working in conjunction with Te Awa River Ride Trust, Ngati Haua mahi Trust and the Cambridge Tree Trust, St Peter’s School enjoyed a community planting day with students and supporters developing their own school wetland area.
St Patrick’s Catholic School in Te Awamutu continue their community contribution with their growing and planting programme, giving 300 plants to
the Stewart Alexander Golf Course for biodiversity and beautification while also continuing their work with the Lower Mangapiko Streamcare group.
Following the nature’s cycle, Waikato TfS schools are now starting the process again. Tiny manuka, harakeke, Carex and Ti kouka seedlings, amongst others, have been delivered to schools and pricked out into root trainers, while last year’s seedlings are being potted on.
Fourteen new TfS schools; Pokuru, Waipa Christian, Whatawhata, Pirongia Primary, Ngaruawahia Primary and High, Vardon , Rototuna Primary, HoraHora, Melville Primary, Karapiro, Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, Te Awamutu Intermediate and Te Awamutu Primary have now all received their PGUs, potting mix and root trainers. Facilitators have started working to introduce the pricking out process to children and teachers, with the new seedlings that they are being delivered.
Now, with 21 schools on board in the Waikato nurturing around 20,000 plants per year, the learning and connection to nature of thousands of Waikato children as well as the health of the Waikato and Waipa rivers should be greatly enhanced.
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