Students from Leeston Consolidated School were treated to a fun filled day at the Kids Discovery Plant-Out programme at Lakeside Wildlife Management Reserve on the 15th of September. The programme was organised by Te Ara Kākāriki and funded by ESAI and the Tinaku Project. Plants and on-going maintenance are provided by the Department of Conservation.
60 pupils joined DOC and Kahuria Te Waihora restoration project staff to plant around 550 native seedlings at the site on a perfect Canterbury spring day.
As well as planting native trees the Year 4 students also learnt about invertebrates and their role in the ecosystem from Mike Bowie of Lincoln University and enjoyed the bug hunt that followed.
Nicky Thorne, the Enviroschools Waitaha Facilitator, gave a talk about native birds of Te Waihora and the students created nests from natural materials found at the site.
Lou from Te Ara Kākāriki helped the kids identify native plants that are important food sources for native birds and they talked about the critical function that Kereru play.
Lisa McClure, a teacher from Leeston Consolidated School who attended the event, stated that “The children had an incredible day. They were all engaged and excited about the meaningful activities and many of the kids said they wanted to re-visit the site with their families to show what they had achieved and learnt. The Kids Discovery Day was a highly valuable and rewarding experience for our tamariki”.
Johanna Blakely from ESAI was there on the day to lend a hand and take photos as well as Tom Hilston and Kurt Frauenstein who are funded through the Tinaku Project. Gary Boyd from Kahuria Te Waihora was also there to oversee the event along with staff from Te Ara Kākāriki.