Introduction

An inspired Year 5 pupil Devlin Gurr and his class' Inquiry Project led to the students spending a day volunteering with DOC, helping to eradicate invasive weeds at Uretiti, south of Ruakaka.

Date:  24 October 2012

An inspired Year 5 pupil Devlin Gurr and his class' Inquiry Project led to the students spending a day volunteering with the Department of Conservation (DOC).

The students helped to eradicate invasive weeds at Uretiti, south of Ruakaka. The site had been planted with natives a year ago, however weeds like wattles and tobacco plant were rapidly outgrowing them. It was physically demanding work, but the students were determined to do a great job as they realised the value of the work they were doing.

Harlan holding the invasive wattle.
Harlan holding the invasive wattle

Monica Valdes from DOC said, "It was great to work with such an enthusiastic and willing group - students and parents (even the bus driver joined in!). They did a great job tackling weeds, putting mulch around the native plants, and finding 'missing' plants, hidden by the overgrown weeds. They definitely made a difference."

Devlin's teacher, Paula Sadgrove, explained that as part of their Inquiry Unit (based around survival) each student was encouraged to link their research and learning to a real life situation. Devlin's Inquiry Unit research, looking into the survival of our native bush, linked him to DOC and eventually to the DOC Whangarei volunteer programme.

Students holding a large wattle they pulled out.
Students holding a large wattle they pulled out

The class chose to support Devlin's initiative and a strong team of 33 turned up last week to 'Volunteer Wednesday' at Uretiti to assist in removing the unwanted weeds. At the end of the day's session both students and adults, although exhausted, were proud of the work they had completed.

Contact

Fiona Watson

Whangarei Office
Phone:   +64 9 470 3300
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   whangarei@doc.govt.nz
Address:   2 South End Ave
Raumanga
Whangarei 0110
Postal Address:   PO Box 842
Whangarei 0140
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