Turbine trip is tops among trekkers
On the day before the snow fell, 165 walkers trekked the tops amongst the turbines in a brand new fundraiser.
Parents, pupils, staff, and supporters of Pohangina’s Awahou School hiked a 4.6-kilometre route through the Te Apiti wind farm, just north of the Manawatu Gorge on Sunday.
The energy generating farm with its giant turbines is not usually open to the public, but Meridian Energy made an exception in support of the small rural school, and the walk raised nearly $3000 towards new learning resources.
Friends of Awahou School coordinator Kim Marcus says the energy company arranged to move livestock from the four farms at the base of the wind turbines to clear the way for the walkers, who were then able to have a unique close-up experience with the giant generators, and enjoy the ‘‘amazing views’’.
‘‘The weather held off, there was no mist and you could see for miles. The last 10 stragglers got a bit of drizzle, but the feedback to the event was all positive. Everyone wants to do it again next year.’’
And that looks likely, only it will be held earlier in the year.
‘‘Everybody enjoyed it, even the four and five year olds.’’
Among the Facebook responses was this from Natasha Perry:
‘‘I did the walk with a very good friend and my mother who came all the way from Auckland, and we had an absolute blast, definitely an event we will remember for avery long time! Absolutely stunning photos and just an incredible opportunity...’’
Awahou principal Matt Schmidt says preparations for the fundraiser were incorporated into the children’s daily learning. They created route signs for the walk, while adding to their knowledge of what it means to be Kiwi as part of their Kiwiana enquiry topic.
‘‘For our school, nestled in the foothills of the ranges, we see the turbines as a classic symbol of our clean, green EnZed image and in particular, our region,’’ Matt explains.
Staff also laid down the chal- lenge to pupils to use the walk as fitness preparation for the forthcoming Kainui school cluster cross country event at Westview Farm on June 10
Pupils may get a say in how the money will be spent at the school. On the wish list are extra teacher aide hours and IT upgrades.
A small knot of windfarm walkers is dwarfed by the giant trunk of a Te apiti turbine during Sunday’s fundraiser for Awahou School.