On Friday 28 May, fourteen enthusiastic Eco-Warriors took part in a carex planting event at Mangemangeroa Reserve. The event was organised and led by Ella from the Gecko Trust and Cate from Sustainable Schools.

Three local schools took part: Cockle Bay Primary, Howick College and Somerville Intermediate. There was a hint of rain at the beginning of the day and we did receive the odd light shower, but our wet weather gear did the job and it didn’t last long.

We started the day by helping transfer the carex plants across to the plant site. Ella taught us how to plant “like a ninja”. Then equipped with spades, gloves and a bucket load of enthusiasm, we set about our task. The Eco-Warriors worked in small groups, often with students from other schools. It was amazing to see the younger students working with the intermediate and college age students. The older ones got alongside and took them under their wing. First the older students dug the holes, then removed the carex plants from their pots. After placement in the hole, the soil was replaced and patted down. With carefully calculated spacing, the newly planted carex plants will form a natural buffer to help shield the manuka trees. Altogether, we planted three hundred carex plants in total.

We returned to school to eat our lunch and make some clay seed balls. It was great to host Cockle Bay School and Howick College while we had lunch and made the seed balls.

The advantage of our school being located right next to Mangemangeroa is that we have a wonderful outdoor classroom. It is easy to access and when the opportunity arises, it is great to contribute to maintaining and preserving the reserve.

It was a tired, yet satisfied group of students who went home at the end of the day; our legs were fatigued and our muscles ached. Yet, we all had an awesome time and learnt a lot throughout the day. Mr Read and Miss Dubey would like to thank Kerry, for his assistance, and the wonderful team from Gecko Trust and Sustainability Schools. It was a privilege to be part of this carex planting.