Young eco-warriors brave the chill

A group of young eco-warriors armoured in gloves and beanies braved the biting cold yesterday to help preserve the environment around Lake Mahinerangi.

Their quest: plant 250 native tussocks near the Mahinerangi boat ramp.

About 20 pupils from Lee Stream School cut in with spades to place plants yesterday morning, helped by the school and their families.

Principal Rachelle Moors said the boat ramp was an area all the pupils used.

Being a rural school, all the children were keen on conservation and they would be able to proudly see the tussocks’ progress whenever they came near the lake.

Hunter Ruxton (13) said he much preferred planting tussocks to sitting in class.

The air was cold and the ground was very hard, but with a bit of hard work they would get it done, he said.

He was running tests on the water on his family farm for a science project. Protecting the waterways was something he cared about, he said.

Preparing the ground near the Mahinerangi boat ramp for native tussocks is Lee Stream School...
Preparing the ground near the Mahinerangi boat ramp for native tussocks is Lee Stream School pupil Niamh Cooney (3) as pupils work behind her yesterday. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
The planting was part of a wider project to restore and extend the boat ramp.

The plants were supplied by Manawa Energy with funding from local Pamu farms Thornicroft Station and Waipori Farm.

Manawa Energy community engagement and communications adviser Annie Tangata said before the area was colonised it was covered in native bush, but now there was hardly any.

The tussocks helped with nutrient run-off to the lake and were a boon to the local environment.

Once the planting was all done the group enjoyed a barbecue lunch.

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