Hawke’s Bay’s annual Conservation Week’ programme for schools is underway for 2016. Pan Pac Forest Products Ltd and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council jointly sponsor this event which is now in its 24th year.
The programme funds five schools to take part in Guthrie-Smith Outdoor Education Centre’s Walk Plant Discover experience, one of a number of outdoor programmes and school camps provided by the Centre. This year Te Awa, Napier Central, Henry Hill, Porritt and Richmond school students will be bused to Tūtira for a hands on conservation experience.
“We enjoy hosting a different school each day of the Conservation Week programme so their students can experience conservation work first hand, and have fun learning about their natural world,” says Sally Chandler, HBRC’s community engagement coordinator.
Ahead of each visit Lynne Arnold, the Environmental Education Facilitator for the Guthrie-Smith Arboretum, visits each school to talk to students about what they will see and do at the arboretum.
The Conservation Week programme’s first stop is at Pan Pac Forest Products. A member of Pan Pac staff joins the group for the day and includes a guided drive around the plant. The next stop is at White Pine Bush where a guided walk gives students an opportunity to be surrounded by native forest especially the tallest tree species, Kahikatea (White Pine).
Then onto the Guthrie-Smith Trust at Tūtira where their education team takes each school group for a walk and talk around the arboretum to introduce the students to the huge variety of trees from around the world.
This year students will complete their experience alongside Orakai Lake, within the Guthrie-Smith grounds, where they will plant native trees and shrubs. It’s an opportunity to find out more about the biodiversity that is being developed at the arboretum. The day finishes with lunch over the road beside Lake Tūtira before heading back to school.
12 September 2016
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