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Orewa College—18 November 2020

November 19, 2020

As part of their end of year Careers week activities, Year 10 students at Orewa College north of Auckland, can to select from a variety of possible activities, and seven 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 Brodie, Chyanne, Evan, Jackson, Katie, Sarah and Troy arrived at about 9:30 with teacher Michelle Cauldicott.

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.

Mahrukh also gave a safety briefing and described the work planned for the day.

We first asked the students to help us finish off a section of walking track near the viewing platform that we have been working on.  Our friend and neighbour Lyall has made some seating out of the offcuts of the viewing platform foundation poles and improved and widened the track. The last step was to finish putting down a layer of gravel to make the track easy to use in all weather.

We loaded up gravel in buckets in the car park.

We drove up to the end of the track to unload the buckets.  The buckets were dumped on the track and Lyall was on site and helped out by raking the gravel smooth and making sure everything was level.

We ended up bringing up three truckloads of gravel and thanks to the students’ hard work, the track is now finished and looking good.  Thanks!

Once we finished that task, everyone picked up a pair of loppers and we walked down the track clearing vegetation that had grown over the 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.

The hard working group managed to prune virtually the entire walking track as well as a section of driving track.

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

After lunch, the students helped out with one last task.  Last year, we had rescued some kahikatea seedlings that had self-seeded and were growing on one of the walking tracks. The small seedlings now needed to be transplanted into larger pots.  Thomas gave a quick potting demo and then working in teams, the students quickly potted up the seedlings.

 

The bigger pots will give the seedlings room to grow until they are big enough to be planted in the field as part of our restoration enrichment plantings.

When they were finished, the team even cleaned up the nursery and swept up. Well done!!

Our thanks to Careers teacher Janet Halliday for organizing the visit and a special thanks to Michelle for accompanying the students and for all her help and work today.

And a very big thank you to all the students for electing to come to CUE Haven and helping out today.  We appreciated your hard work and efforts and we hope you enjoyed the day.  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 for a more leisurely visit with your family and friends.

Thank You!! Thank You!!