It was a big day on the tools for a group of students at Whanganui City College last Friday, as students came together to build a new community garden from the ground up.
The large group of Year 9 and 10 students decided to build the garden as an end-of-year project after noticing the under-utilisation of the overgrown horticulture garden, technology teacher Phil Hopkinson said.
"Well, we had our horticulture area, which was really underutilised," Hopkinson said.
"After Covid, realising a lot of our whānau might be struggling with job losses, we had the class thinking about projects they could do. With a bit of prompting they had this idea.
"Not only is it helping whānau, it's a great opportunity for education, where we can go from pasture to the plate."
The project was a source of excitement for many students, with the project signalling the end of the year was not too far off.
"At this time of the year we've finished our normal courses, so this week is a week of projects.
"We thought let's get it done."
Year 10 student Te Taonga Nuku said building the garden was a nice change in scenery from being stuck inside a classroom.
"This just started as an idea and it evolved into this.
"I work with my koro, and this is easy. It's just working with all the small things that's hard."
Hopkinson said the idea of a garden is just the beginning.
"What we want to develop is a whole outdoor education area, so shifting the shed across, creating a service area.
"Later on we want to create a permanent hangi pit, pizza oven and fire pit so kids can come outside and have outdoor cooking, eating and learning."