It is with delight that we announce the conclusion of Love Your Water Drury, with the support of responsible developers, Auranga. This program, comprising of two planting days and 23 school and community presentations, shows how great things can happen when socially and environmentally responsible business support the work of charities such as ours.
Auranga is a new community on a greenfields site with a responsibility to the natural environment. Auranga is serious about contributing to improved waterways and is including a generous number of parks, reserves, walkways, cycleways and boardwalks as well as planting tens of thousands of native plants in rain gardens, wetlands and along the banks of stream and estuary waterways – this is why the partnership between Sustainable Coastlines and Auranga is so important.
From September 5 to September 15, Sustainable Coastlines visited three South Auckland schools to deliver our Love Your Water presentation. This presentation overviews the amazing freshwater ecosystems that we have in New Zealand, some problems they face and the solutions to these problems. The schools’ tour started off with a visit from Auckland Programmes Manager, Fletcher Sunde, to a class of year seven and eights at Hingaia Peninsula School. Fletcher said the class was one of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic classes he’d ever taught. This was followed by presentations at Rosehill College, where two classes of year 12 students were hoping to use the opportunity to be involved in the community planting day as a chance to earn credits towards social responsibility achievement standards. The school presentation series culminated with a full day of freshwater education at Drury School, where three Sustainable Coastlines staff and two volunteers presented individually to all 18 classes, from year 0 to year 8 – the first time this has been achieved in a large school.
The education tour was followed by two planting days, which saw 2,148 native trees find a new home on the banks of the Ngakoro Stream, an upper tributary of the Manukau Harbour. On Friday September 22nd, an enthusiastic class of year seven and eights from Park Estate School planted 240 manuka, kanuka, te kouka, harakeke and more, but of course not before they had received the obligatory educational message. “The students loved it so much that in the end even a localised downpour couldn’t stop them from getting out and continuing their efforts after lunch”, said Fletcher.
Two days later was the big one, the community planting day on Sunday September 24th, 2017. This special day, which was opened with a moving Karakia from Ngati Tamaoho’s Hero Potini, saw 92 people of all ages and backgrounds come together to plant an additional 1,908 additional native plants on the riparian banks of the stream. There were primary students from local schools we’d been in, people we’d chatted to at service stations, those who had seen a flyer in the local cafe or had heard word through social or traditional media, a group of the year 12s from Rosehill College and of course those from the Auranga office, all mucking in together to get the plants in the ground. Sustainable Coastlines Ambassadors delivered in situ Love Your Coast presentations and volunteers were well rewarded with a delicious hot delivery from Mexicali Fresh.
Auranga’s Marketing Manager, John Gundesen had this to say: “Sustainable Coastlines do a great job of promoting, managing, informing and educating our local community and schools and we look forward to collaborating on similar events in the future. Most memorable for me is the wonderful aroha they bring to every aspect of the day from the music playing while we all plant trees to the tasty, healthy food at lunchtime and happy helpful people all day long – priceless! These waterways and tree planting days represent our brand to the local community, which is very important to us.”
Total results for the series are:
Two planting events
2,148 native riparian plants in the groudnd
126 volunteer planters
441 volunteer hours
22 school and one public Love Your Water presentations
569 people educated
Thanks abound to Rachel Calendar, John Gundesen, Elizabeth Ma, Luke Henshall and Charles Ma from the Auranga team, local hero teachers Sally Alvern, Amy Pye, Meg Goldthorpe, James Fraser, and Jilly Leger, Sophie Kynman-Cole, Sarah Balchin and Julia Bennett of The Plant People for their professional planting assistance, Hero Potini and all those who shared our message, such as Auckland based bilingual broadcaster, Radio Waatea and of course the local Drury and Karaka communities.