Pupils work at green­ing of Mt Roskill

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Lisa Sloan

Stu­dents at Mt Roskill In­ter­me­di­ate School want to see more na­tive fish liv­ing in their lo­cal creek.

So they are plant­ing trees, re­mov­ing rub­bish and keep­ing the area tidy to make sure it hap­pens.

Chil­dren no­ticed a lack of fish and birds when test­ing wa­ter in Oak­ley Creek, which runs through the school.

They dis­cov­ered the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture was too high and have since been plant­ing trees to cre­ate shade and are mon­i­tor­ing pol­lu­tion closely.

They have also started a com­post­ing sys­tem and are work­ing on mak­ing the school as en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly as pos­si­ble.

In hon­our of the United Na­tions World En­vi­ron­ment Day to­mor­row pupils will be tak­ing ac­tion such as bring­ing their lunch in con­tain­ers in­stead of plas­tic wrap and walk­ing or tak­ing pub­lic trans­port to school.

Stu­dent Vicky Xu, 11, says it is im­por­tant for peo­ple to give back to the en­vi­ron­ment.

“We need trees to breathe and cities are killing all the plants,” she says.

“If we’re go­ing to ur­banise, we need to re­plant as well.”

Stu­dents at Mt Roskill In­ter­me­di­ate elect to be part of the en­vi­ron­men­tal unit and spend around four hours a week work­ing on the creek.

Metrowa­ter sup­plies na­tive plants and stu­dents clean out weeds and rub­bish.

Teacher Sean Car­roll says the chil­dren are en­thu­si­as­tic.

“It takes a lot of time and pa­tience but they are very keen,” Mr Car­roll says.

“It’s im­por­tant for them to know that you can’t undo 200 years of dam­age in two years. It takes a lot of work.”

He says the long-term goal is to see na­tive fish back in the stream and a cor­ri­dor where birds can live.

Stu­dent Josef Motu says he en­joys clean­ing up the creek.

“It’s a good ex­pe­ri­ence to learn about plants and how they in­flu­ence the en­vi­ron­ment,” he says.

“We want more in­sects, birds and other an­i­mals to be able to live around the stream.”

A num­ber of cen­tral Auck­land schools are mark­ing World En­vi­ron­ment Day to­mor­row.

The Auck­land City Coun­cil and Pt Che­va­lier School will un­der­take a reveg­e­ta­tion project at Meola Re­serve.

Owairaka Dis­trict School pupils are work­ing on a project to show peo­ple how to con­serve wa­ter.

ABC child­care cen­tres around Auck­land will also ed­u­cate peo­ple on why it is im­por­tant to re­cy­cle.

The projects are funded by the gov­ern­ment.

“It is an op­por­tu­nity to bring the world’s com­mu­ni­ties to­gether to find new ways to pro­tect our en­vi­ron­ment and form stronger net­works to sup­port and build on the work that is al­ready un­der way,” says En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Trevor Mal­lard.

“Var­i­ous sec­tors in New Zealand have in­tro­duced in­no­va­tions to­wards com­bat­ing cli­mate change, and this is our chance to share them.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about World En­vi­ron­ment Day events visit www.world. en­vi­ron­ment.govt.nz.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Go­ing green: Mt Roskill In­ter­me­di­ate school pupils Vicky Xu and Josef Motu, both 11, help clean up Oak­ley Creek.

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