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Grantlea Downs gets councils’ endorsement

August 28, 2008


Grantlea Downs gets councils’ endorsement and help with stream planting project and walkway

Some forward-thinking, environmentally-aware pupils at Timaru’s Grantlea Downs School have helped secure support from their regional and district councils to improve the health of their local stream.

This year the year 7 and 8 pupils made formal submissions to ECan and the Timaru District Council’s annual plans on the Taitarakihi Stream project. The result has been a thumbs-up from the two councils, says Grantlea Downs deputy principal Bernie Leonard. Both councils are backing the students’ ideas to improve the stream’s health and enhance the area by offering staff time and expertise.

In addition, she says that the Timaru District Council is keen to take up the idea of creating and maintaining a walkway, linking to other existing walkways around the city. “It’s a huge endorsement of the kids’ work.”

The grass-roots work kicked off last week with some meticulous counting and measuring as some of the “Clean Stream team” got to work on a planting plan for the neglected waterway.

The pupils have been working for some time to get part of the Taitarakihi Stream on their school’s northern boundary cleaned up, and called on the help of two Environment Canterbury staff to work out exactly what plants will be needed for the project and how many.

Last week two of the 10 strong team joined ECan resource care co-ordinator Sam Shannon and ECan educator for sustainability Debbie Eddington, in pacing out the area, and colour coding markings for plantings. The students will use the plan to apply for a grant from the Honda TreeFund so they can potentially move on to the planting phase of their project.

Eleven-year-old James Brosnahan says it is fun getting into the hands on part of the project. “We’re trying to clean up the stream for starters and make it look good, and make it used more. We want to make it a bit more appealing,” he explains.

As part of the planting plan, the pupils are learning about the best plants to use in riparian plantings, and the effects the plants will have on the waterway’s health.


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