Stu­dents take on Tainui Re­serve

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

The on­go­ing beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of Have­lock North’s Tainui Re­serve was boosted re­cently when a group of Iona Col­lege stu­dents donned their gar­den­ing gear to plant about 350 na­tive shrubs and trees at the 17ha re­serve.

The Hast­ings Dis­trict Coun­cil re­serve was iden­ti­fied by Year 12 Col­lege stu­dents and project co­or­di­na­tors Jorja Tay­lor and Man­reet Kaur as a wor­thy can­di­date for an an­nual So­cial Ac­tion Project that all Year 12 stu­dents get in­volved in as part of their Re­li­gious Stud­ies classes.

Af­ter ini­tial plan­ning and site vis­its with coun­cil staff, the stu­dents were joined by about 20 of their school­mates, along with Col­lege prin­ci­pal He­len Arm­strong, school chap­lain El­lie Burge and other staff mem­bers on a fine Satur­day morn­ing late last month for a half-day of plant­ing.

It was a valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the over­all vi­sion for this area to in­tro­duce na­tive plant­ings and bio­di­ver­sity en­hance­ments as iden­ti­fied in the Tainui, Tan­ner, Tau­roa and Hikanui Re­serves Man­age­ment Plan adopted in De­cem­ber 2015.

The stu­dents’ ef­forts built on the ex­ten­sive plant­ing and weed re­moval work in other parts of the re­serve that had been car­ried out by coun­cil staff and the Tainui Re­serve Care Group over the last nine months.

With mu­sic play­ing, lots of laugh­ter and choco­late for en­ergy, the plant­ing was com­pleted in an hour and half.

While work was un­der­way many lo­cals walk­ing through the re­serve stopped to ask what was hap­pen­ing, and Hast­ings mayor Sandra Ha­zle­hurst also popped in to give en­cour­age­ment.

“I was re­ally en­cour­aged and in­spired by the vi­sion of the young peo­ple who are want­ing to im­prove our re­serves and spe­cial places,” Mrs Ha­zle­hurst said.

“It was hard work plant­ing trees on a bank, and I was very proud of their ef­fort to make our place a bet­ter place.”

Look­ing ahead, there are plans to ex­tend this area of plant­ing at the re­serve in com­ing years with the coun­cil con­tin­u­ing to build re­la­tion­ships and work along­side lo­cal schools and the Tainui Re­serve Care Group.

Tainui Re­serve will be fur­ther en­hanced when track im­prove­ments com­mence in com­ing months to fur­ther im­prove the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence of vis­it­ing the pop­u­lar green space.

Hast­ings mayor Sandra Ha­zle­hurst, with project co-or­di­na­tors Man­reet Kaur, left, and Jorja Tay­lor, vis­ited the stu­dents to of­fer en­cour­age­ment.

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