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St Peter’s College—21 May 2017

May 22, 2017

St Peter’s College in Auckland is a secondary school for boys and offers a very comprehensive educational program.  Last year the senior students studying Classics went on an educational trip to Greece and Rome.

The boys were expected to do fund raising to cover some of the cost of the trip and our nephew Yazdy, who attends SPC and was going on the trip, suggested a novel fund raising idea – the boys would get people to sponsor trees that would then be planted at CUE Haven.  Not only would the sponsorships raise money, the tree planting would help offset the carbon footprint of the trip.

We liked the idea and donated the trees to the students who were very successful in getting a lot of tree plantings sponsored for their fund raiser. The students had a great trip and today some of the students came out to CUE Haven to plant the trees.

The group arrived by 9:30 and included seventeen St. Peter’s boys–Caleb, Ethan, Finn, Hugo H., Hugo P., Jacob, Kevin, Lawson, Leon, Liam, Luka, Max, Maxi, Scott, Stephen, Thomas and Yazdy.  Also accompanying them were family and friends Ben, Felicia, Henry, Ian, Lily, Philip, Rory, Royce, Shane, Sharon, Stephen S. and Stephen B., and teachers Cameron Sitters and Alice Gallagher.

We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave an overview of the CUE Haven project and Thomas gave a description of the planned work and a safety briefing.

Today the group was planting at the very top of the property, filling in some gaps in the 2016 planting area with pioneer trees such as kohuhu, manuka, mahoe, tarata and karamu as well as some infill planting of canopy trees such as rimu, totara, taraire and puriri.
Thomas drove everyone up to the planting site and then did a planting demo and safety reminder and the group went to work.

The weather was perfect for planting and the site was relatively flat.  But the biggest challenge was lots of weeds that had grown up over the summer.  Most of them were dead but they were in the way a lot and the group quickly got used to telling a good plant from a weed.

The group accomplished an amazing amount of planting in just a few hours—we even had to bring up some additional trees for them to plant!  We then took a leisurely walk back to the cottage.  The walk gave the group a chance to see more of the property and to learn a little about the restoration project.

We then had a relaxing lunch and spent some time socializing before the group headed back to town.

We’d like to thank Nestle NZ for donating the delicious hot chocolate and coffees for our volunteers.

Also thank you to Cameron for organizing the day.  It was great meeting you and Sharon.  And thank you Alice for coming along to help out—you were a great help with both the spade and camera!

Many thanks to Yazdy for coming out early to help us get the plants to the planting site and for your novel idea of the tree sponsorship to raise funds for the Classics trip.  We’re glad we could provide the St. Peter’s boys with this opportunity.

And a very big thank you to all the hard working students and their families and friends and the teachers for giving up a Sunday and planting the trees.  We very much enjoyed meeting you all and working with you.

You all accomplished an amazing amount of work and have made a significant contribution not only to the CUE Haven project but to our environment and the wider community.

We would also like to thank the people who generously sponsored trees for the classics trip.  You have also made an amazing contribution to the community and the planet.

CUE Haven will be gifted to the wider community to use and enjoy as a native forest reserve.  The trees you planted are an important part of the growing forest and will be protected by the QEII Open Spaces Trust.  You should all be very proud to have been a part of creating this native nature reserve which the community will enjoy for generations.

We wish you all the best with your future endeavours and look forward to having you visit CUE Haven with your families and friends for a leisurely walk to explore the walking tracks and the bush you have helped established.

Thanks again!!

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