The future of our forests are in good hands if the kids of Whangarei Heads School are anything to go by.
Last week I spent some time with each class and we talked about the weeds invading one of their favourite places, Fern Valley. We talked about what those weeds would mean for the future of Fern Valley – how it would affect their ability to play in there (agapanthus sap is not friendly to skin!), and how the weeds prevent Fern Valley from replacing itself as it gets old; the weeds that have started to smother the forest floor are preventing the next generation of seedlings (and hut building materials!) from growing. Katiakitanga is a guiding philosophy for the school, and we talked about making sure that future kids at Whangarei Heads school can also enjoy Fern Valley they way they do now.
Armed with this knowledge, the students then got stuck in to manually removing those weeds. They removed 6 full wool sacks of agapanthus, tuber ladder fern, montbretia, aristea and wild ginger roots, and they removed a newly discovered patch of tradescantia before it spread.
I was so impressed by their enthusiasm, good weed ID skills, and their commitment to digging up even the most stubborn roots!