School reap­ing re­wards af­ter plant­ing ef­fort

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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