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Orewa College—20 November 2019

November 20, 2019

As part of their end of year activities, Year 10 students at Orewa College north of Auckland were able to select from a variety of outdoor projects, and four students chose to come to CUE Haven to help us with our summer maintenance work and to learn a little bit about forest restoration and New Zealand plants and animals.

Students Callum, Flynn, Grace and William arrived at about 9:30 with teacher Annie.

We spent some time getting acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave an overview of the CUE Haven restoration project and the transformation of the former dairy farm into a native forest reserve for the community.

Thomas then gave a description of the work planned for the day and a safety briefing.

We had a warm, wet winter and an unusually wet spring which means that everything is growing—good stuff and weeds!  So the task for the day was for the students to trim back vegetation that was growing over the main walking track to make it easier for visitors exploring the CUE Haven bush.

Before we got started, Thomas gave a brief explanation and demo for the trimming work.

We started near the top of the property and worked down and the group had a chance to explore different parts of the property.

As they moved down the track, Thomas pointed out features and aspects of the restoration project.  He explained in more detail the restoration plan and process, how to identify various trees and plants and explained the positive effects of controlling pest plants and animals.

They checked out the wetas in the weta hotels.

And found out how springy a muelenbeckia bush can be.

They also took time to relax and enjoy the wonderful sounds in the bush.

In just a few hours the hard working group managed to prune the entire main race as well as a long section of the boardwalk and a driving track.

When the trimming was finished, it was back to the cottage for a relaxing lunch.

Our thanks to science teacher Janet for organizing the visit and to Annie for accompanying the students and for all her help today.

And a special thanks to all the students for all their hard work today.  We appreciate your efforts and hope you enjoyed the day.  We enjoyed working with you—you have made a very valued contribution by helping us get CUE Haven ready for the summer season visitors who will walk along the tracks you helped clean up and beautify—Thanks!   We hope that the visit has given you an appreciation and interest in nature and environmental studies and we look forward to having you back over the years.

Thank You!! Thank You!!

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