Newsletter • Issue 15 • November 2010
Community in action at Musick Point On 8 August 2010 the heritage site, administered by the Musick Point Conservation Trust on behalf of the Crown, witnessed the ultimate in community projects. The work of seven schools, local Rotary Clubs and the Howick Golf Club together with many parents and community leaders, in association with Trees for Survival, culminated in a Musick Point Community Planting Day. This project at Musick Point, a wellknown landmark near Auckland’s Bucklands Beach, provides a great example of re-vegetation planting on public land in what is a very broadly supported community project. Howick Golf Club leases their course from the Crown and members, with strong leadership from Peter Roberts, have put in hundreds of hours since 2008 removing weeds and doing initial planting, including seeding areas with seed gathered from existing plant growth. Peter consulted with the then Auckland Regional Council planting experts and it became apparent that the scale of the project dictated an increased level of support was necessary. TfS Field Officer, Dianne Patterson, visited the site with Peter on 30 March 2010 and the momentum grew across schools, Rotary Clubs and the local community.
From left: Amidst the Howick Golf Club fairways at Musick Point; A demonstration of community action; Man of vision – Peter Roberts, the Club’s driving force.
About 40 keen students took part in planting trees around old ponds on the course and the Club agreed to take on caring for these seedlings, fertilising and weeding in the initial years of their establishment. This project once again demonstrates the importance of taking opportunities to plant areas donated by landowners to provide habitat for birds, insects and animal life and to provide ‘corridors’ for birds to seek seasonal fruit. At Musick Point the specific outcomes should be cleaner waterways, the return of native aquatic species, and an improved quality of water flowing into the Waitemata Harbour.
Participating groups included – • Buckland Beach Intermediate • Buckland Beach Primary • Mellons Bay Primary • Owairoa School • Pakuranga College • Pakuranga Intermediate • Point View School • Tetrapak • Rotary Club of Howick • Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay • Rotary Club of Pakuranga • Rotary Club of Somerville
In September 2009, TfS newsletter wrote about the work being achieved by Moturoa School in growing rare native plants. Since 1996 pupils have been involved in the propagation, growing and planting of a number of Taranaki’s endangered species including Scandia rosifolia (koheriki) and Pimelea urvilleana (pinatoro). The school has recently won a New Zealand Plant Conservation Award from The New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. In making the award in Christchurch, NZPCN national president Philippa Crisp said “the school’s rare plant propagation programme is a model for others around the country to follow.”
Environment teacher, Bill Clarkson, comments, “the children learn so much by caring for the plants, going out on planting days and doing something for the community.”
Trees for survival Champions
Nitrogen – the good and the bad By Warwick Sylvester, recently retired Professor of Biological Sciences at University of Waikato, who has particular interests in plant nutrition especially nitrogen, and in tree physiology and native trees. What is it about this picture that tells two stories better than a thousand words? This picture speaks volumes both about the need that plants have for nitrogen and about the problems we are having in our lakes and rivers. So let’s analyse it in that context. First, all plants need a ready supply of nitrogen either as nitrate NO3 - , or as ammonia NH4+, to realise optimum growth. Almost anywhere after water shortage, N shortage is the most important limitation on plant growth. Nitrogen is of course the backbone of all proteins and all green plant tissue, which, while containing some 45% of carbon, also contains 2-4% of nitrogen. Animal tissue contains very much more N since muscle, skin, hair and nails are all solid protein and this must eventually come from plants. So what is happening in the picture? The dark green patches are, of course, urine patches in a dairy farm paddock. Urine contains urea and uric acid which, when they hit the soil, are converted to ammonia. In turn, the ammonia breaks down to nitrate, delivering the short sharp burst of N that stimulates growth enormously. However,
the other side of the story is that the amount of N contained in a urine spot is 10 to 100 times more than the plants can readily assimilate and the excess nitrate passes through soil into ground water. It is no dark mystery as to why our lakes appear to be undergoing a sudden change from clear and clean to green and enriched (slimy). The nitrate, which may take 10 to 100 years to reach springs and then rivers, is only now entering our lakes, causing (the well documented) enrichment and pollution problems. The stimulated algal growth is turning lakes green just as the picture above shows urine turning the grass green. So a pasture with cows can produce annually as much as 60kg N per hectare to ground water. On the other hand, trees whether exotic or native are exceptionally conservative of N, releasing as little as 3kg N per hectare, since they retain most nutrients in plant and litter. You can see this by comparing lakes that are surrounded by forest with those surrounded by farms. The N story provides another good reason for riparian and wetland plantings of trees and shrubs which help maintain healthy lakes and waterways.
Holyoake Award 2010 Congratulations to all students and teachers for embracing this hotly contested award with enthusiasm and fine entries. The $600 award was won by Glenbrook School, under the guidance of teacher Maree Kearney. Second equal (winning $200 each) were Albany Primary (teacher Rosie Hughes) and Owairoa School (teacher Claire Hargraves).
On a rainy day at the Gubb property, students from Glenbrook Primary School with Anna McNaughton (AC), Claire Jewell (NZ Steel) riding on a trailer.
The many schools who entered this TfS programme completed their assessment sheets and submitted material including images of pricking out, potting on and planting day activities; also PowerPoint presentations of student involvement, posters, teacher resources and website links. Glenbrook School, which joined TfS in 2006, demonstrates a truly holistic learning experience for children due to a thriving partnership between TfS, Auckland Council and NZ Steel. The classroom of 25 enthusiastic Year 5 and 6 children begins the school year with a trip to Awhitu to collect seed in the Regional Park. The sessions are led with expertise by local AC Field Officer Anna McNaughton and TfS Field Officer Dianne Patterson, supported by NZ Steel, particularly Claire Jewell and Fiona Macdonald.
Regional Councils back TfS Trees for Survival gratefully acknowledges the very important part played by councils in the delivery of the TfS programme in many parts of New Zealand. Supporting regional councils include Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Horizons, Greater Wellington, as well as the Far North and Gisborne District Councils and the Tauranga City Council. TfS is currently involved in discussions to determine future levels of cooperation with Nelson City and Whangarei City Councils and the Kaipara, Marlborough and Tasman District Councils.
Issue 15 • November 2010
Where the action is – PGUs on campus TfS plant growing units are a significant part of the school campus - a visible, tangible link to the natural world. As the centre of the Trees for Survival programme, these units provide important learning opportunities thus ensuring participating students gain a range of experiences that contribute to their fully-rounded educational development.
Their PGU delivers: • The visual element – a constant reminder of an emerging and aesthetic landscape.
• The learning element – observing natural processes that are formalised in the classroom.
• The curiosity element – seeing growth in its early unfolding stages – a natural laboratory.
• The identity element – feeling and sensing ownership of something that belongs to me/us.
• The value element – a daily symbol representing These illustrations capture important aspects of the PGU in use.
commitment to an ideal.
At Point View School, highly focused students work on their plants in a secure environment
An exercise in order – at Mission Heights wellordered plants and clear plant identification show a well-managed programme
Clearly the centre of a thriving industry, this PGU stands surrounded by abundant evidence of the success of the growing programmes
Set in the context of native trees, and in close proximity to staff room and classrooms, the new PGU at Wymondley Road is protected with a security fence
Positioning of the PGU at Hunua School reinforces the end objective of growing mature, thriving trees while ensuring full exposure to sunlight
This PGU is now cleaned up and stocked with healthy plants – don’t let this happen to your PGU!
At Pukekohe Intermediate a state of the art outdoor classroom space stands ready for delivery of the PGU – the secure area for the unit offers space for pupils to work outdoors when raining or windy
Sponsors are key to the TfS programme; at Owairoa School they’re promoted for all to see, behind Cheryl Speechly, Environmental Officer Tetrapak Oceania (left) and Mandy May of Tetrapak NZ
A class in progress at ACG Strathallan demonstrates the essence of the TfS learning experience in a positive but informal setting
Issue 15 • November 2010
The structure of Trees for Survival Trees for Survival is a community partnership which encourages children to learn about native plants by growing and planting them to support local revegetation projects. Our partners include Schools, local Councils, Rotary Clubs of NZ, landowners, champions and sponsors.
Temporary fencing Protecting the enormous investment by staff and pupils in developing a PGU site and the seedlings destined for next planting season means security fencing around the unit is a very good investment. TfS thanks 0508Tempfence and Director Greg Goudie for providing an excellent solution by offering installed fences around PGUs with a discount of $300 per school. A 6-metre unit discounted fence costs approximately $650-$700.
New TfS website Work is almost completed on the redesign of TfS website www.tfsnz.org.nz and plans are in place for a seamless changeover in early December. The successful completion of this upgrade owes a great deal to the enthusiastic work of designer Keri Clarke (Engima Design) and web developer Nick Spiers (Configra).
Te Awamutu biodiversity award Among the winners for 2010 Waipa Biodiversity Awards is one to Lower Mangapiko Stream Care Inc, for the Habitat Development and Management on a Public Reserve. The organisers of the community project with extensive local support (featured in the November 2009 TfS newsletter), believe managing local riparian margins will stabilise the banks, provide improved habitat for fish and wildlife, improve water quality, extend the Pioneer Walk alongside the Mangapiko and Mangaohoi Streams and improve the urban landscape of Te Awamutu. The work began in 2006 and the group has a vision of eventually linking Pirongia with Maungatautari with a fully restored ecological corridor.
TfS sponsors and supporters We sincerely thank our TfS Champions as well as the following for their assistance and donations: The Sustainable Management Fund, Boeing Environment Fund, Parkland Products and Holyoake Industries
Issue 15 • November 2010
Trees for Survival also acknowledges the Rotary Clubs of New Zealand who support one or more schools to enable them to learn about trees and to grow and plant them on ‘at risk’ land.
Patrons Bill Boyd Rob Fenwick CNZM, KStJ Ruud Kleinpaste Trustees Don Bowater (Chairman) Noel Holyoake Bill Boyd Mark Dean Geoff Shapland Peter Taylor Warren Edwards David English National Committee David English (Chairman) Ann Batten Warren Edwards John Guthrie Gavin Healy Mark Iles Peter Mundell Richard Purchase Jo Ritchie Peter Taylor Ian Willetts Newsletter Editor Robin Beckett TfS Schools (Registered) Hutt Valley High School (omitted from the November list) Newly Registered TfS Schools Bellevue School (Tauranga) Kenakena School Paihia School Waipu School Supporting Organisations Rotary Clubs Albany Auckland Auckland City Sunrise Auckland East Birkenhead Botany East Tamaki Downtown Auckland Drury East Coast Bays Eastern Hutt Half Moon Bay Henderson Howick Kawerau Mount Maunganui Mount Roskill Mt Eden Newmarket Northcote
Orewa Otahuhu Otumoetai Pakuranga Papamoa Papatoetoe West Paraparaumu Penrose Pohutukawa Coast Pukekohe Remuera Somerville Howick St Johns Stoke-Tahunanui Takapuna Tauranga Tauranga Sunrise Tauranga Te Papa Waikanae Waitakere City Waiuku Warkworth Business Auckland Savings Bank Fonterra (Te Awamutu) Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Mercury Energy New World Victoria Park NZ Steel Paraoa Bakehouse Smith & Nephew (Car Drivers) Sustainable Business Network Tetra Pak (NZ) Ltd Tileworks Watercare Services Limited Wellington Central Charitable Trust Winstone Aggregates Boards of Trustees Nayland Primary Steiner School (Tauranga) St Francis School (Thames) Te Waotu School Thames South School Supporting Sponsors The Sustainable Management Fund Boeing Environmental Fund Parkland Products Holyoake Industries
PO Box 11836, Ellerslie, Auckland 1542 • Ph: 09 526 1561 Fax: 09 526 1563 • Email: email@example.com • Web: www.tfsnz.org.nz Application forms to apply to become a TfS school can be downloaded from http://www.tfsnz.org.nz/docs/ApplicationForm2010.pdf