Māpua School gets planting!

Frontage of Māpua School

With a little help from TET the whole of Māpua School got their hands dirty recently, helping to plant over 400 natives at the school.

Māpua School was an absolute hive of activity earlier this year, with every student in the school helping to plant a riparian area near the carpark. Sparked by an idea from the school’s very active Board of Trustees, TET was contacted to see if they could assist with getting a neglected area near the school carpark planted with natives. 

new plants in the ground
The delicate business of transplanting the fragile plants

Kathryn Brownlie, Battle for the Banded Rail Project Coordinator, jumped at the opportunity to involve the Māpua School community with the project. Planting native trees and shrubs not only creates habitat for birds and other species, it also provides vital food sources. Getting a wide range of volunteers including schools involved with the Battle for the Banded Rail project also helps create an important sense of responsibility and care for a planted area. 

Clearing the site to prepare it for planting was the first major challenge, with some substantial broom requiring removal. The stream banks eventually became visible and the planting project could begin.

kids putting guards on plants
Providing some expert guidance to the young planters

The planting day itself dawned with clear blue skies and the Māpua students took to their job with gusto! The older students showed some fantastic leadership skills by helping the younger classes – especially when it came to digging some of the holes! Māpua Schoool Principal Sharon Prestige was really pleased with the results and commented that the area looks so much better now.

The efforts from the Māpua School students didn’t go unnoticed by the wider Māpua community either. Local David Mitchell was so impressed with the planting skills and enthusiasm of the pupils, he even went home after passing by to grab his spade and lend a hand!

“It was particularly encouraging to see the teamwork of the school pupils, their enthusiasm and care with the planting and also great to see such a big area of wasteland planted up so quickly.”

David Mitchell- Māpua resident
Students planting
Many hands turning a wasteland into a natural wonderland

Praise didn’t just come from passers-by as teacher Simon Clearwater expressed his gratitude to all the groups concerned. 

“Thanks to Kathryn and Abby from the Banded Rail project for making this possible and to Amber and the BOT for pushing this forward. Our next mission will be to maintain the area to ensure the plants have the best chance at survival. The Year 7/8 students were amazing tuakana, helping all the younger classes plant and dig holes in some very challenging soil.”

Simon Clearwater – Māpua School Teacher

Caring for the newly planted area will be an on-going project for the school and we wish them all the best! 

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