Arekatera Turia out walking
Image: Kim Turia | DOC


Highlights of nature learning stories from early childhood centres and schools across Aotearoa.


We hope these stories help you celebrate your learning, and inspire others to connect, learn about and take action to protect their local nature.

Our Nature Space School Kit

The Nature Spaces School Kit was developed in 2020, in collaboration with School Kit, for Years 4–8 students.  

Visit the School Kit website to see the experiences that teachers had with their students using the kit.

Habitat Heroes

The Habitat Heroes programme encourages children to go outside, explore a local place, and think about how they can make a difference. See what students have accomplished with Habitat Heroes.

Green heroes

Haumoana School, Hastings – students developed a 'taking action' plan to bring back native birds to their school through tracking, trapping and planting. Check out their Bring back the birds website for more news on the campaign.

Mangonui School, Northland – students, with help from community group Friends of Rangikapiti, planted trees on their maunga. They are planning to grow their own native trees from seeds collected on the maunga, these include karaka and kohekohe. Find out more from their presentation - Taniwha Class and Rangikapiti Pa.

Kaingaroa School, Chatham Islands – students restored their school yard into a bee haven and are growing food for them and the community to eat. See Kaingaroa School's Habitat Heroes journey (PDF, 1,631K).

Katikati College, Tauranga: Future Thinkers and Environmental Studies Students – students worked towards restoring a green space in their school grounds. Bring back the kereru presentation (PDF, 6,395K)

Hilltop School the weed busters group removed weeds such as blackberry, Japanese honeysuckle and broom from the Oruatua Conservation Reserve. They have also planted new native saplings and are protecting them with tree protectors and weed mats made out of harakeke. Read more on DOC's Conservation Blog.

Stream Heroes

Ruawai College, Northland – Year 7 and 8 classes undertook a thorough investigation into the health of their local stream that leads to the Kaipara Harbour. Using the results from their study they took action for the stream by planting native trees in the riparian strip. Next the students want to continue monitoring their waterways and set up a nursery to provide plants for the community. To see more of the hard work being completed by Ruawai College, the year 7 class have made this presentation: We are habitat hero's and the year 8 class have made this website: Year 8 enviro project 2017

Koraunui School, Lower Hutt – students investigated their local stream and took action by planting along its banks. They created their own paper mulch protectors for the native trees they planted. Koraunui School also ran a hugely successful bioblitz for their community, check out their website for all the information. Check out this amazing video put together by Korounui School, Room 1213.

Rotorua Lakes High School, Rotorua – two students undertook a local stream study using a stream health monitoring and assessment kit (SHMAK). Using the data they collected, they worked out a thorough plan to restore a local wetland for their community. See the students in action in the video they made: Talking SHMAK.

Share your stories

Share your nature learning stories online or email 

By sharing your stories you'll go into a draw to win a DOC education pack.

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