Taita College students revive natural wetland
Taita College students and teachers teamed up with Greater Wellington Regional Council’s River Ranger Travis Moody recently in a bid to rejuvenate the natural wetland at the back of the school’s field.
The theme for their last term of school was sustainability, with the wetland being a key focus of this. Students worked hard to clean rubbish out of the area, clear out blackberry bushes and replant native trees and plan to continue this work throughout the 2020 school year.
Travis says it was “really heartening” to see the students and teachers at Taita College show such enthusiasm for protecting and enhancing their environment.
“They are removing the blackberry by hand bit by bit, digging out the roots, they’re doing it the right way. The teacher leading this, Simon Hirini, is so passionate. I’m just encouraging them and providing some guidance.”
Travis says it is important for Councils to have good relationships with local colleges and communities because it is mutually beneficial for all, including the environment.
“Students from Taita College helped us out by establishing a planting of more than 1000 native trees at Taita rock in 2016. Since, they have returned to help with native maintenance and are also keen to get involved in clean up days along Te Awa Kairangi/ Hutt River in future.”
Sujata Rajagopal, a teacher at Taita College, says she wrote a proposal to the Ministry of Education in 2019 and the school was awarded a Teacher Led Innovation Fund of $110,000 which they have used to support the wetlands project.
“I say to my students, it’s easy to go on strike for climate change but what are you doing about it personally – you can’t expect anything from the land if you don’t give back to it.
“Students have also been clearing rubbish and weeds from the waterways that run through the school and learning about the eco-systems that exist there. This has all become a part of the school curriculum and the students are really enjoying it,” Sujata says.