Waitohu School Wet Rock planting

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Above: Christopher Brodie and Kilipati Mae show their good environmental aptitude, collecting up excess plants and seedling boxes, removing their rubbish from the wetland

The Waitohu Wet Rock environmentalists spent a recent afternoon planting out wetland seedlings they’d helped raise, alongside the Waitohu Stream.

Begun last year, the Waitohu School room three class of year’s five and six pupils, petitioned local farmers and residents along the upper reaches of the Waitohu, to fence land bordering the stream, to improve water quality and ultimately the flora and fauna of the waterway, and held their first planting session at a property on Waitohu Valley Road.

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Above: Jayden Kyle gets a helping hand from Vicki Cracknell as he plants one of the natives

They were back last week, just before the school finished for the holidays, to introduce this year’s year five pupils to the work they’d done and to see how well the trees and grasses, planted last year had grown. And as good environmentalists, they removed all the plastic bags and seed trays they had taken in with them.

This is a 10 year programme, with the ultimate hope to clean-up the Waitohu down to the estuary where the Friends of the Waitohu have been working at reclaiming the wetlands and sand dunes for the past 15 years. With the work being carried out by two class levels, it is now the turn of the year six’s to encourage, and show the new year five pupils the work they have been doing.