Avondale College TFS Planting Day—1 June 2016
Since 2009, Year 12 and 13 horticulture students from Avondale College in Auckland have been planting at CUE Haven as part of the Auckland Council’s Trees for Survival (TFS) programme. Today a great group of 41 students joined us for a day of planting. They were accompanied by teachers John, Hannah, and Ronnie.
Avondale College has an extensive nursery where the students grow the native plants from seedlings provided by TFS. A few weeks ago we picked up the plants from the College and the students helped us load up the truck.
There was a big question about whether the planting day today would go ahead because the weather forecast was for lots of wind and rain. But we had blue skies and calm weather in the morning so we decided to go ahead. Gail Farrell from the TFS programme arrived early to organise the site and to lay out the plants.
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 to the cottage.
Also joining us for the day were Colin, Hazel and Mark of the Auckland Western Springs Rotary Club, who sponsor the TFS programme at Avondale College, and Mark Vincent of the Otomatea HarbourCare Society. We all got acquainted over morning tea.
Mahrukh gave a welcome and a short introduction to the CUE Haven project. Gail then gave a safety briefing and described the plan for the day.
We then had our first big challenge of the day. This year we are planting at the very top of the property—about a kilometre from the cottage. Because we had such a large group it was impractical to drive people up in small groups so we had to walk!
It gave the students a chance to see some of the plantings that previous Avondale College students had done and also to see the different stages of development of the regenerating bush.
Once everyone got to the planting site and caught their breath, Gail gave another safety briefing and a planting demo.
The group then went to work. The planting site was long and narrow with a slight slope. But the group coped very well.
Some students were so busy planting they didn’t want to be interrupted to have their picture taken!
The weather stayed fine and it was a fun a productive planting day.
In a little over two hours the group managed to plant out the entire area marked for them. We then took a leisurely walk back to the cottage. It was much easier going downhill!
And then it was time for a relaxing lunch before the students headed back to town–it was a great day and we all had fun and accomplished a lot.
We would like to thank Nestle NZ for providing the delicious Nestle hot chocolate drinks for the students which they thoroughly enjoyed.
Also a big thank you to Mark for his interest in our project and for coming out to help today. We really appreciate it!
And many thanks too to Colin, Hazel and Mike for their much appreciated help today and the Western Springs Rotary for supporting the TFS program at Avondale College.
And a huge thank you to Gail. Gail has managed every TFS planting day we’ve had at CUE Haven and we really appreciate your friendship, advice and support.
Big thanks to teachers, John, Hannah and Ronnie. We enjoy working with you and appreciate how well you handle all the technical and logistic challenges of planting days.
And finally a very BIG THANK YOU to the hard working students. You have made a significant contribution to the CUE Haven project and our environment by planting these trees. Thank you! We wish you the best of luck with your studies and we do hope you will come back and see us (and your trees) again soon!