The planting day was organised by Noslam (North Otago Sustainable Land Management). Activities focused on an estuary and potential wetland area on a neighbouring farm next to the property of Noslam members Bridget and James McNally.
More than 80 volunteers turned up on the day, including the McNallys, their neighbours Steven and Simone McCone, 38 pupils from Kakanui and Maheno schools and members of Noslam. Community support from local businesses and organisations was also welcomed.*
Both schools are familiar with DairyNZ’s education resources (see ‘more info’ below), including our riparian planting information. They built on this knowledge at the more recent event thanks to the expert planning and guidance of Noslam's Max Crowe. The students and other volunteers planted more than 1000 plants including flax, cabbage trees, a variety of wetland plants, low shrub tussock, kahikateas, manuka and ribbonwood.
Maheno School principal Ryan Fraser says his students had a fantastic time at the wetland planting.
“It was such a community effort and we’re really proud we were part of the day. It’s so important that we expose our children to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in all areas of our lives. Our students are growing up in a time when these practices are vital for our future.”
Jason Kinnaird, a teacher at Kakanui school, says each of the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and mucked in from the get-go.
“It was a brilliant opportunity for our students to get close to nature: learning about how to plant different trees and bushes and what it takes to grow them big and strong.”
Bridget McNally says all students received Rosie the Cow goodie bags from DairyNZ in recognition of their involvement.
“While the older students contributed to the planting day itself, the younger pupils will be carrying out ongoing plant monitoring and maintenance at the site.”
DairyNZ’s education programme provides information and support for classroom teachers and access to free, curriculum-based, engaging learning resources online through dairynzschools.co.nz
To find out more about other school learning resources and projects for schools to get involved in, school farm visits and our ‘cowbassador’ Rosie the Cow, see dairynz.co.nz/education
*including Kakanui Garden Club, Kakanui Ratepayers and Improvement Society, Kakanui Volunteer Rural Fire Force, Waianakarua Lions Club, Stanger Fencing, Specialised Services Group, Fieldlab – and Fonterra Farm Source (BBQ lunch providers).
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy July 2019