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Avondale College TFS Planting–June 10, 2011

June 13, 2011

On Friday June 10, for the third year in a row, students from Avondale College came out to CUE Haven for a tree planting through the Trees for Survival Programme.

It was a memorable day.  According to the weather service, rain was supposed to develop overnight and the forecast for Friday was “rain, heavy at times.”  That is weatherspeak for “it’s going to pour all day and sometimes it will be torrential.”

Mahrukh and I spent the night at CUE Haven and sure enough, it started raining in the wee hours and at dawn, we were having a major downpour.  I didn’t think we would be doing any planting that day, so I didn’t even walk down to open the gate!

I was expecting a call from Gail Farrell, our TFS coordinator telling us that the planting would be postponed but the text message said that the students were keen to plant some trees and everyone was convinced that the weather would clear so it was a go.

Shortly after ten, Adam Jenkins, the Avondale College horticulture teacher, arrived with a group of eleven students and his colleague, Ben Ray, the chemistry teacher.  The rain hadn’t slowed down so we moved morning tea into the garage.

We then decided to brave the elements.  Gail and Sarah Brenchley, from the TFS Trust, went to work setting out the plants at the planting site, and following a short briefing from Gail, we got to work planting.

In no time the planting area was a sea of mud and you had to watch your step. Because we were on a slight slope there were a few slips, but that didn’t slow down the group.

It eventually did stop raining, but that was only shortly before we finished off.  The rain didn’t slow the group down and in a few short hours they planted about 580 trees, an amazing achievement for such a small group in such challenging conditions.

We then all went down to the nursery and cleaned up as much as possible.  Some pairs of shoes will never be the same.

Avondale College has made a major contribution to the CUE Haven project.  Because the students are a little older (Years 11, 12, 13), we generally assign them more challenging areas to plant and they always rise to the occasion and this time was no exception.

We were really happy that two students who had come out last year volunteered to join the group again this year.  They are both off to university next year.  We wish them all the best in their studies and look forward to seeing them again at CUE Haven in the years ahead.

A big thank you to Adam, Ben and the Avondale College students for braving the weather and accomplishing so much.  We hope you will come back and see us again!

You have left behind some wonderful footprints at CUE Haven!

Finally, as always, a special thank you to Gail Farrell of TFS for her help and guidance with our project.  Also, thanks to Sarah Brenchley who joined Gail for this planting and was a great help.  Welcome to CUE Haven and we look forward to seeing you again!

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