Getting Our Hands Dirty
One of the things that's unique about our adopted site near Awaroa is that there is an active restoration plan in place. This means that there is already a vision for what needs to be done here and even a project manager who's in charge of making it all happen.
Our adopted section is called the "Hadfield Clearing" because much of the flat land here was cleared for farming by members of the Hadfield family many years ago. Their farming activities included planting as well as raising grazing animals like sheep. To do these things, they needed to create open space where there was once forest and wetlands.
Students and staff at Golden Bay High School chose to get involved with some of the replanting that was happening at one of these large clearings. The idea was for as many students as possible to see our section in person. This also gave us the chance to be part of something important, and to help return native plants to areas where they used to grow naturally.
We made four planting trips on four different days in May:
15 May: Year 8
16 May: Year 9
22 May: Year 10
23 May: Year 12
When we were there we got an introduction to the site, met the project manager and other members of the DOC and Project Janszoon teams. Then we learnt how to plant trees. It's not as obvious as you might think. The size of the hole, especially the depth, matters a lot. How the soil is packed around the seedling also makes a difference. Some plants also got a sleeve put around them to try to protect them from nibbling pests (mostly hares and deer).
Some students also had a chance to do some invertebrate surveys for the Project Janszoon bird expert to see if there are enough invertebrates for kiwi to live at our site someday.
Now that so many of us have had a chance to go to our section, we hope that we'll get to come back again and do more. There are a lot of ways that we can get involved, and we'll even have a chance to come up with some of our own ideas for things we'd like to do and learn. Eventually, we hope that all of the students at Golden Bay High get to visit our site.