Students take on Tainui Reserve
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.