TfS within the Katikati curriculum

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With generous sponsorship and close involvement by Summerset Village, Katikati College is the latest Bay of Plenty School to join TfS.  Summerset Village, a very new retirement complex being developed on the harbour edge, is keen to work with TfS to enhance planting on riparian margins adjacent to the complex as well as assisting with other community plantings.

At the opening an official dedication with a full powhiri at Katikati College was hosted by Matua Komene and his Potama students. The speeches made by local elder, Pai Wanakore, Western Bay of Plenty district councillor Mike Williams and Carsten Nopper, Summerset site manager, emphasised the unified commitment to preserving the environment; also present was Sue Morris, President of the Uretara Estuary Managers Group

Teacher-in-charge Peter Besley, in thanking all of the individuals and groups for their help and involvement, outlined his reasons for wanting to ensure that the TfS programme is integrated into school-based learning projects and the wider Katikati College curriculum. The College is the only Bay of Plenty school to run TfS within the curriculum and will be incorporating planting within a unit plan for Year 11 students.

Gathered at the PGU which is housed in a large horticultural block, guests and students assembled for the final haka and karakia.  Pai blessed the PGU and all it stands for before the ribbon cutting brought plenty of smiles.

From left: Peter and Amanda Besley watch as Carsten Nopper and Pai Wanakore cut the ribbon

Performing the haka

In support of his plan Peter Besley wrote: The College boundary extends down into the Vesey Stewart Reserve itself and encompasses the beginnings of a small stream that ultimately finds its way into the Tauranga Harbour. The stream levels fluctuate considerably throughout the year. At times there is extensive inundation around the stream, at other times the area can get quite dry, although generally close to the stream source it is quite boggy and low light conditions prevail.

The Environmental Studies class would like to build a bioswale in the area, initially experimenting with a small trial to see what sort of plants would best suit this area. It is hoped that a number grasses currently in the PGU will work.

The students believe that a bioswale will contribute to improving overall water quality and biodiversity. Bioswales which have been proven to filter out dissolved nutrients and sediment from run-off, are an effective way to stop inorganic wastes such as plastic packaging entering our waterways. Invertebrates and bird life can also benefit from a bioswale and we think the knowledge gained from this project will have wider benefits to similar situations within the wider community area.

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