Restoring The Wilderness to Native Bush
At the back of our school we have a 2 acre section, which back in 2007, was full of weeds such as blackberry and willows, and impenetrable on foot. With the children asking the question, why are we called Kaitieke, when there are no tieke (saddleback) around, and few other native birds, The Wilderness Project was born. We began to restore the area, through planting native and wetland plants as we removed the willows and blackberry.
Since we started, we have used the area each year, as an outdoor classroom, changing the focus each year, to support the children to learn about our environment and sustainability ideas. Over the years we have explored both animal and plant pests, learnt about the importance of wetlands and clean rivers, and how we can support our endangered whio. We have added pest boxes and weta hotels and had a bee hive, and added a track and boardwalk across the wetlands, to make the area accessible throughout the year.
We received a $2000 grant from Horizons in 2018, which we have used for more plants, which will go in, in August 2019. We have also built a shade house and tunnel house, with the aim of one day, being able to gather tree seeds and be self sufficient in growing trees for the project and being able to provide natives to our families to plant out on their farms.