De La Salle College is getting a well-deserved boost for their planting programme. With support from Trees That Count, the school’s ‘Our Stream, Our Taonga’ project will be the recipient of all donated and gifted trees made through the Trees That Count website until 30 June.
This will build on the committed efforts of the College’s Enviro-Council who have planted 1600 native trees and plants over the past 2 years. The ‘Our Stream, Our Taonga’ project was launched in 2015, realising the longtime vision of Science Faculty Head Kane Raukura to restore, nurture and protect a stream that runs along the school’s border. The success of the first planting stage under the leadership of Year 9 boys earned them an Enviroschools award.
Mr Raukura is a firm believer in the project’s benefits “The care and buy in from students has been amazing. They readily turn up to help with weed management, plantings, creek water monitoring and general maintenance. Through their involvement they are genuinely learning to appreciate our native environment and how to protect it. Since the first plantings nearly two years ago, students are starting to see the fruits of their labour and are very proud.”
De La Salle College is one of 20 partnerships that Trees That Count worked alongside in 2016 to plant over 75,000 native trees. The College embodies the spirit of Trees That Count and its ultimate project goal, that groups be self-managing and funded through public generosity.
“It’s fantastic to have the support of Trees That count” says Mr Raukura. “In partnering together we’ve been able to substantially lift this project and give it momentum forward.”
Not only will this conservation effort serve to restore and enhance the schools environment by converting the several hundred metres of riparian areas to natives, it provides an opportunity for scientific learning including ongoing monitoring and testing of ecosystems. The stream itself is also of cultural significance, being on the territorial boundary between the Tainui tribe to the south, and the Ngati Whatua tribe to the north.
Trees for the De La Salle College can be purchased for $10 through the Trees That Count website either by donation or by gifting a tree to family or friends.
Mr Raukura’s advice to other schools and community groups thinking of giving a planting programme a go is just to get started, no matter how small. “Invite experts, go to clusters and make connections. It really is about community and you will be surprised how much help and how many likeminded people are out there willing to help. It’s tremendous fun and very rewarding, best of all, its outdoors, in the fresh air and out of the classroom!”
Trees That Count is a conservation movement which aims to mitigate climate change through empowering New Zealanders to plant more native trees. It’s about inspiring the nation to help make a difference and for 2017 Trees That Count has issued a challenge to New Zealanders – to see one tree planted for every Kiwi, that’s 4.7 million native trees.
The first 1,000 trees donated or gifted through Trees That Count’s website were planted at Tūhaitara Coastal Park in North Canterbury on ANZAC Day.
Trees That Count is funded by The Tindall Foundation, and delivered by the Project Crimson Trust in partnership with Pure Advantage and the Department of Conservation. For more information on how to get involved, to donate to De La Salle College or to pledge trees to help grow the count, visit www.treesthatcount.co.nz