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Ficino School—17 June 2014

June 18, 2014

Today a group of very enthusiastic Year Five and Six students from Ficino School in Auckland visited CUE Haven.  We planted trees and Auckland Council WaiCare and WasteWise professionals got the students involved in hands on environmental learning.

The group arrived at ten and included nineteen students and teachers Ashley Leathley and Clare Watkins, and parents Carrene, Delia and Katrina.

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We got acquainted over morning tea.  Nestle NZ had generously provided hot chocolate and Iced Peach Nestea and the drinks were much appreciated by the students.  Thanks Nestle!

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Mahrukh gave the students a short overview of the CUE Haven project and the plan for the day.  Tom then gave a safety briefing.

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The plan was to do some tree planting until lunch time.  After lunch we would break into two groups and each group would alternate between the water and waste programmes.

We took a short walk up to the planting site where Tom gave a planting demo and then the students went to work.

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The weather alternated between sunny, windy and light showers but the students coped well and in about an hour planted 202 trees.  A fantastic effort!

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When the planting was finished the students went through the area picking up the pots.

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And nicely cleaned off their spades.

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We then walked back down and got cleaned up for lunch.

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Shelley Hackett of Auckland Council’s WaiCare programme and Tori Christie of the Wastewise programme were on site for presentations to the students.  After lunch, half the students attended Shelley’s WaiCare session while the other half attended Tori’s WasteWise presentation.  Each group then switched so that all students saw both presentations.

Shelley started her presentation by talking about the importance of water and wetlands and explained to the students how their tree planting efforts would have a positive effect on the water quality at CUE Haven and ultimately the Kaipara Harbour.

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Shelley had previously collected samples of water from the CUE Haven stream and talked about the macroinvertebrates that live in the ponds and streams and described how water quality affects them.

The students then did experiments to test the water clarity and oxygen content.

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Shelley had a field identification guide for macroinvertebrates and the students all had an opportunity to study the samples with magnifying lenses to see how many creatures they could identify.

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Tori’s Wastewise session focused on where waste comes from and how to minimise it.  She started by explaining the life cycle of trash and waste and gave the students some idea of the volume of waste produced daily in Auckland.

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She had the group do exercises in identifying the components of trash and also the resources that are consumed in producing and disposing the waste.  They also did exercises to help the group identify better ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials so that the amount of waste going into landfills is minimised.

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Tori also had the students do an interesting game about resource depletion using beans to represent the earth’s natural resources.

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The students enjoyed the game and learned a lot about reducing present consumption and conserving the earth’s natural resources for future generations.

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Our many thanks to Shelly and Tori for joining us for the day and for their great presentations  which were much appreciated and enjoyed by everyone. And also our thanks to Auckland Council for supporting the CUE Haven project and sponsoring their visit.

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A big thank you to Ashley for organising the visit to CUE Haven and bringing her students out for yet another year.  And Clare thank you for bringing your class along too and for your help today.  We look forward to having you both back with future Ficino School classes.

Thank you to Carrene, Delia and Katrina for joining the group and helping out.  We enjoyed meeting you and look forward to seeing you again.

And most of all our many thanks to the Ficino School students.  It was a real pleasure having a group of such polite, well mannered and enthusiastic students who were keen to learn new things. We hope your field trip was educational and enjoyable. Thank you for planting the trees and we very much hope you will come back to see how your trees have grown up and to explore more of the property.

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