St. Kentigern School TFS Planting–June 9, 2011
A high point of each planting season has become the St. Kentigern School Trees for Survival (TFS) planting day. The very first trees planted as part of the CUE Haven revegetation project were planted by St. Kentigern students in August 2008 and Denise Coleman, the science teacher, has brought a group of boys out every year since.
The St. Kentigern group has always been enthusiastic and energetic and this year was no exception.
They had started the process last year, planting the trees from seed and growing them over the school year. In mid May, we hired a truck and went over to the school where Denise and some of the science students helped us transfer the plants from the nursery to the truck for their trip to CUE Haven.
The planting was originally scheduled for May 28 but it was very windy and rainy that day so we rescheduled it for Thursday, June 9th. Gail Farrell, our TFS coordinator came out first thing in the morning to get everything set up. Mahrukh and I had earlier placed the plants up at the planting site, but Gail would make the final determination of where each tree should be planted. The different species of trees we were planting do better depending on wind, shade, drainage and other factors.
Shortly after ten the St. Kentigern’s volunteers arrived. In addition to 23 students and Denise Coleman, seven parents and four Rotarians from the Auckland Sunshine Rotary Club came along.
After morning tea we took everyone to the nursery and Mahrukh gave a short talk about the CUE Haven project and the objectives of the day. Everyone then hiked up to the planting site where Gail gave a quick demo and briefing about the plants and the planting.
The weather was perfect and everyone had a fun time!
In addition to tree planting there were interesting things to discover. There were lots of worms plus rainbow skinks.
The area that we planted is right next to one of the oldest areas of established forest at CUE Haven. It includes kauri, totara and kahikatea trees that our ecologist estimates are around 150 years old. We hope that the children and grandchildren of the people who did the planting here today will come out to see this new addition to the forest grow up.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit”–Nelson Henderson
After the planting we headed down for lunch. On the way we showed the boys how much the first trees St. Kentigerns students had planted in 2008 had grown. The trees in the background were the same size as those the boys are holding when they were planted three years ago!
Then it was time for lunch. Dessert include jelly sticks and the boys proved as talented slurping them up as they did at tree planting!
After lunch, the boys presented us with a Pohutukawa Springfire tree which they planted next to the three trees the school has presented us for each of the years they have come out to plant.
The St Kentigern School Pohutukawa Grove is a distinct area near the cottage and we look forward to having St. Kentigern students coming out each year and adding to the grove.
As always, the planting day with St. Kentigerns was a major success. The boys planted almost 500 trees and left CUE Haven even more beautiful as a result of their efforts and energy. We are very grateful to Denise Coleman, the students and parents who came out and made the day so enjoyable.
We also really appreciate the participation of Andrew Chong, Duncan Bamfield, John Owers and Paul Buchanan of the Auckland Sunshine Rotary Club. They provide great help and encouragement and we value their friendship and contribution. We look forward to seeing you back at CUE Haven with St. Kentigerns next year.
We want to extend special thanks to Gail Farrell, our TFS coodinator who organised the planting activities and always provides us with invaluable technical advice to move our revegetation project forward.