School reaping rewards after planting effort
Rangikura School pupils can see Mana Island again.
The school’s frontage has been transformed. Its pohutukawa were chopped down and replaced with other native species – all in one weekend.
More than 70 trees were planted on November 16 and 17. They were donated to the school by Porirua City Council and gardening company Crew Cut volunteered time.
Teacher Rebecca Sellars is in charge of the school’s ‘‘green team’’, and paid tribute to parents Monique Brightwell and Ruki Brown, who led the project.
Mr Brown also tends the school’s expanding vegetable garden, often working with the children to plant and cultivate.
‘‘Four years ago, when I started here, the vege garden was struggling along,’’ Ms Sellars said. ‘‘So this year we put a notice out and parents like Monique and Ruki have really assumed responsibility.’’
Mr Brown said the feedback about the trees at the front of the school was always negative. When they started clearing them, they found rubbish that was 20 years old.
‘‘It wasn’t inviting and was seen as very dull. The kids were disrespecting the trees and there were plenty of cans and bottles and other rubbish.
Now, ‘‘For the first time kids were saying, ‘ We can see Mana Island from our front gate’. It was like we pulled the curtains back and pushed the windows open.’’
Ms Sellars said that among the school’s values was respect for the environment.
‘‘There is this collective ownership in what we’re trying to achieve here between parents, teachers and the community – getting the parents involved always produces good outcomes. What we have now [at the front] is beautiful.’’
One Rangikura parent, Alex Papadopolous, said he hoped other schools would be inspired and look to upgrade their grounds.
Further planting is planned in other parts of Rangikura School.