Avondale College TFS Planting Day—5 June 2013
For the fifth year in a row, Avondale College students made a major contribution to the CUE Haven project with another successful Trees for Survival planting day.
Back in May, we had gone out to Avondale College to pick up the plants the students had grown in their on-site nursery. The students showed us the nursery and helped us load up the plants.
We then took the plants up to CUE Haven to give them a chance to acclimatise to their new home.
On Thursday, the weather forecast was for wind and rain but things looked good as Gail Farrell of Trees for Survival arrived and began laying out the plants at the planting site.
In addition to Gail, who coordinated and managed the planting day, we were assisted by Auckland Council’s Environmental Initiatives & Programmes professionals –Greg Jenks, Alexandra Wilson, Rachel Griffiths and Hazel Meadows.
The team from Avondale College arrived just after ten. There were 34 students accompanied by their horticulture teachers John Norton and Hannah Eyre. The bus driver dropped the group at the gate and they walked up to the cottage.
And we welcomed the group with morning tea.
We then gave the group a brief overview of the CUE Haven project and the history of Avondale College’s contributions and Gail gave a short talk on the plan for the day.
We broke the group into two teams. One group would start planting while the other would work with Auckland Council Waicare educators Rachel and Hazel on water quality testing. The groups would then switch so that all participants would be able to do both activities.
It was a short hike up to the planting site.
Gail gave a safety briefing and planting demonstration and the students went to work.
While one team planted, the others joined the Waicare educators in the wetlands to learn about water quality issues, field testing techniques and identification of pond life. Rachel and Hazel took water samples from the pond and stream and taught to the team how to test water quality by analysing nitrates, oxygen and clarity.
They also netted vegetation from the ponds and put it into white trays so the students could search for and identify the organisms living in the pond.
The teams broke at one for lunch after having planted over 400 trees! It was an amazing effort and we really appreciate their hard work.
We would like to thank Nestle New Zealand for providing coffees, teas and treats for the students. They were much appreciated!
Many thanks to John and Hanna, Avondale College teachers for their enthusiasm and support which make the TFS plantings at CUE Haven a major success.
We also want to thank the Auckland Council for their on-going support and assistance to the CUE Haven Restoration project. In particular, a big thank you to TFS co-ordinator Gail for her year round efforts getting ready for planting days and making them work so well. And a special thanks to Rachel, Hazel, Alex and Greg for adding so much to the day.
And the students from Avondale College who came out today we thank you all. We really appreciate your efforts in growing the trees and then coming out to plant them. We hope you will come back to visit CUE Haven in the future and see how your trees have grown up. Thanks again!