Students from Taita College have been hard at work restoring a wetland that sits on public land behind the kura. Initiated by the science and te reo Māori teachers to create placed based learning for their students, this restoration project evolved into a collaboration with the college, Mountains to Sea Wellington, Hutt City Council, Zealandia, the Learning Connexion, Koraunui Primary, and Avalon Intermediate.
After a full biodiversity blitz with us, the kids got stuck into pest plant and rubbish removal, mammalian pest trapping, planting of hundreds of wetland-loving native plants, and modifying the flow of water through the land to prevent it from draining too quickly.
As this year 9 student from the college explains: “The most interesting thing I learnt was that New Zealand only has around 10% of our wetlands remaining, but wetlands are vital to us for they are a natural filter that cleans water. We ‘ve enjoyed learning what a healthy biodiverse wetland looks like and how we can change our wetland at school for the better. I feel that it is a very important resource to have access to and should be cared for and non contaminated”.
With a long term monitoring project underway, they are seeing some amazing results, as native fish like īnanga, banded kokopu, and young tuna are returning to the valley. The chorus of frogs on a rainy day can be heard all over the school, with some even hopping into classrooms during lessons.