Since becoming an Enviroschool in 2018, Westmere school students have undertaken a number of nature-based projects.
Highlights include a whole school visit to their local Westmere Lake and getting involved in the pest control programme. At school they also control pests enthusiastically to help protect native wildlife, including native birds.
Their first project involved maintaining the health of the old orchard which was planted years earlier. They pruned and fertilised existing trees, planted new ones and created an inviting environment for students to sit among the blossoms at lunch time and share the space with the birds and the bees.
Looking for what to do next, the students held meetings about their nature walk area. This is a lovely walk through the back of the school and is filled with native trees long established. The Enviro team noticed however that the trees were getting a little neglected.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Westmere students love to play in nature, however, that can take its toll on tree life as they are often used for huts and harakeke also makes a great diving pit! So the Enviro team negotiated with school management to protect and conserve at least half of this walkway.
The vision is to return it to its former glory and continue to add more native plants to recreate the natural New Zealand forest. This will benefit our native bird species and insects which they learn so much about with their trips to Bushy Park and Westmere Lake.
As part of the planning process, Horizons Regional Council advised on the best plants for the area and the students have designed a new entrance to be complete with creative artworks representing their culture and environment.
Last Monday, with the generous support of the Whanganui Garden Centre in Gonville, students began planting. After months of planning and consultation, the day had finally arrived.
Local Enviroschool facilitator Ron Fisher arrived last Monday to help the students implement their plans and planting got under way.
In a flurry of lunchtime activity it didn't take long before 50 new plants were successfully planted in the ground and students were looking pleased after spending a day taking action for their environment, a day that future generations will benefit from.