Nursery welcomes young visitors

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Bellbirds and the great outdoors were welcome distractions for youngsters who ventured to the Te Kakano nursery in Wanaka last week.

A selection of pupils from Wanaka Primary School and Hawea Flat School visited the nursery last Wednesday to learn about the environment and the work being done to preserve native flora and fauna in the area.

Hunter Armstrong (9), of Wanaka Primary School, said he had enjoyed getting out in the open and looking at the various plants.

Fellow classmate Douglas Wise (10) said listening to the birds was among the highlights.

Nicholas Heiler (10), also of Wanaka Primary School, agreed.

“I’m enjoying the nature and the birds – and how it’s very quiet,” he said.

The children and teachers visited the nursery as part of their roles with Enviro Schools.

Hawea Flat School was also working towards planting native plants along the Hawea River.

The project is being led by the Te Kakano Trust and Hawea Flat School’s Enviro Schools head teacher Danielle Meyer-Budge.

Mrs Meyer-Budge said the aim was to regenerate plants in the Hawea area.

She hoped Wanaka Primary School might also be able to get involved.

“We’re just trying to do some more collaboration across schools and groups so they can share their learning.”

In the outdoors . . . There was plenty of variety on offer during combined schools field trip to Te Kakano nursery on the shores of Lake Wanaka last week. Among those who took part were (from left) Luka Frires (10), of Wanaka Primary, andArlo Mackay (10), Joe Rowley (10) and Freddie Knight (9), all of Hawea Flat School. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

Nursery manager Andrew Penniket said getting young children involved had been great.

The trust welcomed volunteers to help propagate the plants, which were supplied for restoration of habitats.

Getting young children involved was just as important as having adults on board.

“It’s lots of fun just getting them interested in what’s out there in their own wild world,” Mr Penniket said.

“You can’t really care about something unless you know about it, so it’s just part of that process.”

He said the children had shown a great deal of interest in various aspects of the trust, including the plants it grew and projects it was involved with.

“Some are asking some very smart questions, I must say. I was quite impressed.”

Exploring nature . . . Vera Jacobsen (8), Kerah Alexander (9) and Georgia Davies (10), of Hawea Flat School, admire a kahikatea plant during their recent visit to Te Kakano Nursery. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON