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Schools Walk, Plant, Discover at Tutira Lake

Onekawa students pleased to see Pereri King retrieve a dead rat from a trap v.thumb

Hawke’s Bay’s annual Conservation Week programme for schools is underway for 2018 and seven schools from Napier and Hastings are taking part. 

Onekawa students pleased to see Pereri King retrieve a dead rat from a trapPictured – Onekawa students pleased to see Pereri King (Guthrie Smith Trust) retrieving a dead rat from a trap.

Guthrie Smith Outdoor Education Centre is running this programme for Pan Pac Forest Products Ltd and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, who jointly sponsor this event now in its 26th year.  

Each day students are being bused to Guthrie-Smith Outdoor Education Centre at Tūtira for a hands on conservation experience.  This year seven schools have been funded to take part in the programme - Peterhead, Havelock North, Parkvale, Te Mata, St Joseph’s and Te Pohue from Hastings District and Onekawa from Napier.

The outdoor education centre staff have already visited each school to tell students about the programme, start some learning about native habitats, and tell them why their involvement is important to conservation in Hawke’s Bay.

On the way to Tūtira, the bus makes two stops.  The first at Pan Pac Forest Products Whirinaki site.  They pick up a staff member who has volunteered to be a guide and assistant on the day.  A visit around the mill site is always a hit. 

The next stop is at White Pine Bush reserve to experience what a lowland native forest looks like. This area is one of several DOC reserves in the area. 

The cultural and historical significance of Tūtira is an important part of the story.  Groups have been fortunate to have the skills of Pereri King to share his knowledge. 

Tim Race, teacher from Onekawa School commented, “The children loved hearing about the different trees and enjoyed hearing about the Māori history of the area. Turangawaewae was achieved for some of our children who have hapu in the area. Planting the trees gave us a real connection to the land.  All in all a fantastic trip”.

27 August 2018

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