The Maraetotara Tree Trust received some much appreciated free labour this week when 55 Year 9 students from Lindisfarne College got stuck into weeding along the Maraetotara River.
Despite some rain concerns the day went ahead and the students helped clear grass and bushes from newly planted trees, providing them with the light and rain required to survive.
"We were very grateful to have them", Maraetotara Tree Trust chairwoman Raewyn Ricketts said.
The grass grew exceptionally quickly in the area, and it killed newly planted trees if they were are not given room to breathe, a process called releasing.
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"Just the labour helped. We are a charitable trust and to pay someone to do it would be a huge cost. The young men who have worked for us have been just wonderful," Ms Ricketts said.
A recipient of the council's Outstanding Contribution to the Environment Award, Kepa Toa, she said it was a great day.
"I think the trust is talking about contacting other schools and I think it's a good way for the youth to spend time out there and touch base with nature."
Barry Musson, the school's careers advisor and supervisor for the project, said the students found it hard work, but the reward came in the form of the trust's appreciation.