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Avondale College TFS Planting Day—13 May 2015

May 14, 2015

Year 12 and 13 horticulture students from Avondale College in Auckland have been planting at CUE Haven since 2009 as part of the Auckland Council’s Trees for Survival (TFS) programme.  Today a great group of 49 students and staff members Hannah, Helen and John joined us for a day of planting and exploring.

Avondale College has an extensive nursery where the students grew the native plants from seedlings provided by TFS.  Last month we picked up the plants from the College and the students helped us load up the truck.

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The planting day had originally been set for Tuesday, 12 May, but because of torrential rains, we rescheduled it for today.  Gail Farrell and Eve Clarke from the TFS programme arrived early to organise the site and to lay out the plants.

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The students arrived a little after ten.  Because they came in a big double decker bus they got dropped off at the front gate and walked up.

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Once everyone had arrived we had morning tea and got acquainted.

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Mahrukh then gave a welcome and introduction.  About half the students had been out to CUE Haven last year so many of them were already familiar with the project.  We updated them on new developments and described the plan for the day.

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We then took the short walk to the planting site and Gail gave a safety briefing and planting demo.

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The students went to work on the hilly site which was made even more challenging with lots of dead weed grass.

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When the planting was finished, the students went around to pick up the empty pots and also put a stake by each tree so we will be able to find the trees when the weeds grow up in the spring and summer.

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The group then went for a short walk along the walking track and wetlands boardwalk to observe various aspects of the revegetation project.

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They were particularly interested in a hedgehog that had been caught in one of the traps in the field and we explained that hedgehogs destroy native bird eggs and are therefore considered pests.

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After the walk we collected and cleaned the equipment and then had lunch.

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It was a great planting day and we enjoyed catching up with the students who had been out last year and also making new friends.

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We want to thank Nestle NZ for providing Nestle Hot Chocolate and Nescafe Menu sachets which were very much enjoyed and appreciated by the students.

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We also want to thank Auckland Council and the Trees for Survival programme for their continued support of our restoration project and a special thank you to Gail and Eve for all their hard work today.

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And many thanks to horticulture teachers Hannah and John for their efforts throughout the year in getting the plants ready and organising the planting day and also for helping out today. And our thanks too to physics teacher Helen for coming out to assist for the day.

And most of all we want to thank all the hard working students.   We really enjoyed working with you today and really appreciate what you have done.  Thanks for growing the plants and coming out today to plant them. You have made a major contribution to the CUE Haven project and also to the future of the planet.  We wish you all the best with your future endeavours and look forward to seeing you back at CUE Haven to enjoy the growing forest. THANK YOU!!

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