KIDS DISCOVERY PLANT OUT PROGRAM
The Kids Discovery Plant out engages school children with restoration projects that are nearby. They have the opportunity to learn about the ecosystem and species, propagate native plants, make cuttings, put plants in the ground, and then monitor and maintain the sites over time. The program started in Spring 2014 with a few schools and more have started this year.
The previous coordinator Brooke Turner shares the value of the program: “By working together and streamlining existing projects, we’ll make it easier for schools to incorporate conservation and biodiversity into their curriculum. The aim is to spark curiosity and inquiry in students through learning about the inter-connectedness of a native ecosystem and its biodiversity values.
The Kids’ Discovery Plant-out project is a collaboration between Te Ara Kākāriki, Enviroschools, Waihora Ellesmere Trust and Lincoln University, working within the Selwyn District to restore native vegetation communities. Thank you to our first main funding partner for this program (2014 – 2017): Whakaora Te Waihora. And our new significant funding partner for (2015 – 2016): Rata Foundation. Without these main funders, we would not be able to delivery this program.
We would also like to acknowledge the Department of Conservation’s continual support for providing funding to get the students on buses out to public lands for restoration, monitoring and educational field days. Both World Wildlife Fund and Waihora Ellesmere trust support the delivery of the program at some of our sites.
Schools involved currently with the Kids Discovery Planouts are: Springston school, Burnham school, Broadfield School, Ladbrooks school, Tai Tapu school, Lincoln primary school, Lincoln kindergarten, Greendale school, Glentunnel school, Westmelton school, Leeston School, Rolleston Christian School.
Crowd Funding – Stackwoods Bend – Halswell/ Huritini River
In December 2016 we launched our first crowd funding campaign with Million Metres Stream. www.millionmetres.org.nz We are working with the local school Ladbrooks and the wider community to restore another portion along the Halswell / Huritini River. We have raised funds for 200 metres of stream to be planted in 2017 and 2018 and we will then raise another pool of funds to continue along the river at stackwoods bend. Keep an eye on this project as we update our progress.
This video below was a segment from our campaign. It highlights the Kids Discovery Plantout days in action
Highlighting Burnham school at Coes Ford on 17 September 2015 – An example of our Kids Discovery Plantouts: Burnham school this year had a focus on native plants. We introduced the students to propagating softwood cuttings. Alan MacDonald showed the students how to take a Coprosma robusta cutting, dip it in rooting hormone and pot it up. The students used a plastic bag to raise the humidity and help the cuttings take root. Hopefully they will be ready for planting at our next Kids Discovery Plantout at Coes Ford.
The ingenious Matt Stanford created a Plant Bingo activity which had the students racing to find the names of our native trees and their values to birds, invertebrates and people.
Emma MacKenzie, an enthusiastic Canterbury University Masters student helped the students to investigate aquatic invertebrates in the Waikirikiri / Selwyn River. Burnham teacher Chris Thurlow led other students on a terrestrial invertebrate treasure hunt
The Burnham students did an amazing planting effort, rehoming 400 native seedlings! These extend on from the other plantings they have done at Coes Ford in previous years – my how they have grown!
Students, staff and parents are helping to improve our biodiversity at Coes Ford using their energy, knowledge and commitment year after year. They are true environmental ambassadors – well done.
In the media last Spring