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Chanting and planting in Beach Haven

Chanting and planting in Beach Haven

After being fenced off and abandoned, a Beach Haven Primary initiative - supported by North Shore City Council - has breathed new life into a stream running through the school grounds.

Last week students planted native trees and shrubs along the stream bank to create a native forest habitat. Part of the gully has also been set aside for cultural horticulture for Burmese, Maori and Pacific Island communities.

North Shore City Council’s environmental programmes co-ordinator, Hilary Samuel, says the planting day provided an “outdoor classroom” for education, raising awareness of the link between pollution, the stormwater system, streams and the sea.

“Waterways are under increasing pressure from pollutants such as oil, chemicals, sediment, rubbish and paint, which enter the stream through the stormwater system,” says the environmental programmes co-ordinator.

“Planting along waterways helps lessen the effects of stormwater, by significantly reducing flooding, erosion and pollution, as well as providing shade and food to encourage wildlife.”

The school plans to continue to use the area as an outdoor classroom as the plants grow and the area regenerates.

All 350 pupils came through the gully to plant flax, punga’s, Mahoe, cabbage trees and many other native species, while learning about the benefits of native trees and restoration.

According to Hilary Samuel, the students were so keen to get started that during lunchtime when plants were being laid out ready for the afternoon, the children started chanting “We want to plant, we want to plant!”

Room 2 student Aaron says he thoroughly enjoyed revitalising the local stream.
“I liked digging the holes best; I learnt you need to dig a good hole so that the tree will survive,” he says. “We also helped to get rid of the weeds in the bush nearby so they didn’t come into our new planted area.”

Hilary Samuel says her council is also supporting other schools in North Shore City who have streams running through their grounds.

“It provides a wonderful opportunity to revegetate stream areas, improving water quality and native habitats, while also educating the students about the benefits of planting along waterways and keeping our streams healthy.”

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