Once again Rabobank and The Country ran a competition to find a worthy rural project for the Good Deeds Initiative.
The lucky winner would not only receive $5000 toward their community project, but also a working bee made up of volunteers from Rabobank and The Country.
The competition has been running for four years now and 2020 had a record number of entries - but there can be only one winner - and this year it was Waitaki Boys' High School, in Oamaru.
Chair of the Board of Trustees at Waitaki Boys High School, Andrea Ludemann was thrilled to learn the school had won Rabobank's Good Deeds for 2020.
"That's just absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much to Rabobank and The Country teams for recognising the amazing work that these young men of ours are doing."
Waitaki Boys' High School's Creek Restoration project, (affectionately known as "The Creek Boys") and the Enviro Group were working collaboratively to restore Muddy Creek, which runs through the school grounds.
The boys had identified the importance of Muddy Creek, both within the school and wider community.
Muddy Creek meandered through the school grounds, entering the property through a woodland area to form a boundary on the school front garden, before it entered Fraser Farm - the school farm and agricultural teaching area.
"The first focus is on riparian planting through Fraser Farm and recognising the freshwater strategy of the government and using that as a learning and a teaching opportunity for the boys," Ludemann said.
The best part of the two school groups was that they were led by the students, with support from adults "on the periphery" Ludemann said.
The work of the Creek Boys and the Enviro Group would also benefit the school's neighbours, both up and down stream, through the removal of weeds, pest species, and rubbish to allow for water passage.
The fact that the projects were both student-led and beneficial to the wider community gave Waitaki Boys' High School the edge in the competition, Rabobank chief executive Todd Charteris said.
The groups also helped to address the key challenges flagged by Rabobank's client base around agri-industry capacity, sustainability and bringing urban and rural communities together, Charteris said.
The funding and extra help from The Country and Rabobank working bee would go a long way to help Waitaki Boys High School succeed in cleaning up Muddy Creek, Ludemann said.
"This prize will just go so far towards furthering their efforts with what they're doing with the Creek Restoration Project and the work that they're doing within the community."
"From the bottom of our hearts - a big thank you."