Tamariki at Waitara East School are growing a new outdoor classroom where future generations will learn thanks to funding from NPDC.
The creation of a wetland environment on the school grounds is taking root with plants bought with NPDC’s Te Korowai o Tāne (Planting our Place) fund.
Waitara East is one of three schools, along with Ahitītī and Waitoriki, to get planting this year with help from the fund.
Resource Teacher of Māori at the school, Tiri Bailey said Waitara East tamariki had been planting in different part of the kura (school) and were planting tōtara, tī kouka (cabbage trees) and harakeke (flax) in the outdoor classroom area.
“We’re using a beautiful space as a learning opportunity for our tamariki, to create an environment to discover, enjoy, build, and create a habitat for insects and attracting birds.
We can use harakeke for the weaving of nets and making paper, and the tī kouka leaves are used for making rope,” said Whaene Tiri.
New Plymouth District Mayor elect Neil Holdom said the fund is among several initiatives bringing NPDC’s Long-term Plan (2021-2031), greening our place, to life.
“Our Sustainable Lifestyle Capital is a biodiversity hotspot, and we already have more native tree cover than any urban area in Aotearoa. We could be the first to hit 10% and it is great our tamariki can be a part of that.”
“We’re also working with mana whenua to plant 34 hectares of urban forest across the district over the next 20 years, to help bring back native bird song, while creating a greener and healthier place for our kids,” said Holdom.
“When we teach our children how to garden and plant trees, we help them connect with the environment and learn how to make a positive difference. Achieving our environmental goals will require a collective community effort and the best place to start is with our young people and their families.”
The three schools are part of the Taranaki Regional Council’s Enviroschools programme, with its programme coordinator Lauree Jones delighted by the schools’ success.
As part of NPDC’s Climate Action Framework to plan ahead for climate change, Te Korowai o Tāne funds not-for-profit and community groups to plant native species on their own properties.
Epiha Blackburn and Tiri Bailey plant a totara for the Waitara East School wetland and outdoor classroom.
Page last updated: 01:14AM Wed 12 October 2022