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Rosmini College—10 May 2019

May 12, 2019

Rosmini College is a state integrated Catholic secondary school for boys on Auckland’s North Shore. The school is named after Antonio Rosmini, founder of the Institute of Charity and the vision of the school is to create “Christ-centered young men who have the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills to fulfil their life, and be empowered to serve others”

This was the first time group of students from Rosmini have come to CUE Haven and today we were delighted to host a group of senior enviro science students for some planting and maintenance work.

The group arrived at about ten and included students Aarron, Basta, Benedict, Bikku,  Cameron, Carl, Chester, Daniel, Dante M., Dante P-T., Dominic, Filip, Flynn, Gabriel, Indu, Jack, Jerome, Joseph, Joshua O., Joshua Pe., Joshua Pu., Lawrence, Leo, Matthew, Mauro, Oliver, Peter, Seth, Steven, and Thomas.  The students were accompanied by science teacher Eleanor Snowsill, Assistant Headmaster & Year 13 Dean Rachel Peak and retired staffer Rhondda Hodgkinson.

We spent some time getting acquainted over morning tea and Mahrukh gave the group some background about CUE Haven, the restoration project and future plans.

Thomas then gave a safety briefing and an overview of the plan for the day.

Because of the size of the group and because we wanted to give the students the chance to see as much of the property as possible, we planned two tasks—trimming back vegetation that had grown over the main road and infill planting of big forest giants amongst the pioneer trees that had been planted near the top of the property in 2012.  We split the students in to two groups, one started by trimming and the other with planting.  About halfway through the morning, each team switched so that everyone had a chance to do both tasks.

Trimming

The trimming team was armed with loppers, shears and secateurs and moved up both sides of the main race, cutting back any branches that were growing out over the road.

The work involved dealing with branches of all types and sizes!

As they finished a section, they moved up the track to the next overgrown area.

The students managed to finish off a huge section of the road, making it look a lot better and easier for visitors to use.

Planting

Each student had a chance to do some tree planting in an area that had been restored with pioneer plants in 2012.  These pioneer trees have grown up well, creating a good environment for infill planting of forest giants such as totara, rimu, puriri, taraire and kohekohe.  The students also planted some cabbage trees in a damp open area.

We had previously taken all the plants and spades up to the planting site, and because of the distance, we drove the students up in groups. Once everyone was on site, Thomas gave a planting demo and a repeat of the safety briefing.  The students then went to work.

The teams weren’t shy about getting deep into the bush to find good planting spots.

In just a couple of hours the students planted an amazing number of trees and then collected up all the pots, crates and spades and loaded them into the ute.

We then took a leisurely walk back to the cottage.  The walk gave the students a chance to see more of the property and learn a little more about native New Zealand plants.  Along the way, Thomas pointed out different aspects and challenges of the restoration project.

The group even found an old abandoned wasp nest in amongst the trees.

We than had a relaxing lunch and after lunch, Mahrukh gave the students a short talk about bees and the beehives at CUE Haven.

We’d like to thank Eleanor, Rachel and Rhondda for accompanying the students and helping out today. And special thanks to Eleanor for all her help with organizing the day, and Rachel for her continued support of our efforts at CUE Haven.

And a HUGE Thanks to all the hard working students. We really enjoyed meeting you and working with you.  We were very impressed with your enthusiasm and interest in the project and really appreciated all your hard work.  The trees you planted today will add to the growing biodiversity and provide food and shelter for native birds and animals. You have made a major contribution not only to the CUE Haven native reserve but you have made a lasting and positive contribution to future generations and our planet.

We wish you all the best of luck with your studies and future endeavours and we hope you will come back to CUE Haven with your family and friends often for visits over the years.

Thanks again!!

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