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Trees for Survival

June 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM

With thanks to Year 6 Boys and CUE Haven

For the sixth year running, our Year 6 students from the Boys’ School visited CUE Haven farm near Helensville for Trees for Survival, a fantastic day of tree planting, Waicare and nature exploration.

CUE Haven is a a 58 acre property on the Kaipara Harbour whose vision is to develop the farm into a New Zealand native forest to create a haven for plant and bird life, and a place for future generations to enjoy.

It all began in August 2008 when science teacher Denise Coleman, and her Year 6 students helped kick off the CUE Haven restoration project by planting almost 500 trees. Every year since then, Mrs Coleman has brought out a group of enthusiastic Year 6 students who together have planted over 2,500 trees.

The Saint Kentigern Trees for Survival day has now become a highlight of the CUE Haven planting season.

With the help of Blake Holyoake, Jack Beveridge, Ollie Simcock Smith, Harrison Coates, Ben Humphries, Thomas Henzell along with Principal Mr Peter Cassie, the group planted the sixth Pohutukawa Springfire tree in a special Saint Kentigern area by the cottage. This, along with another strip of trees, is called Saint Kentigern Grove, and the trees which were about 30cm when planted, are now almost 3 metres high!

The task for the day was to help the environment by studying the ecosystem and planting New Zealand native trees, which the boys had nurtured and cared for at school. These were transported to the Haven earlier on in May, and for the few weeks they were there before being planted, helped to acclimatise the saplings.

Two teachers from WaiCare taught the boys how to measure the quality of the water that runs in a stream through CUE Haven, and they also examined and named fresh water creatures.

The aim of these activities was to provide the students with a more holistic understanding of how the tree planting fits into the overall objectives of the restoration project by improving water quality and creating a habitat for increasing biodiversity in nature.

Although the boys ran out of time to plant all of their 550 plants, they did manage to plant approximately 450, and it was all agreed that the hardest parts were digging the holes and carrying three spades at once!

It was another successful, enjoyable and rewarding day with plenty of sunshine, great food and hard work for the 63 boys who visited on the day.

Thank you to the parents and teachers, and Tom and Mahrukh from CUE Haven for helping to organise the event.

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