07.07.2009: Students Flax Lyrical


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Waihi Leader, Tuesday July 7 2009

Students flax lyrical about planting day

Waihi Walkways volunteers were out to improve the environment again last Wednesday, this time at Mill Stream Walkway. And students and staff from Goldfields Special School in Paeroa were there to help them.

"Planting in a wetland is a very wet and muddy event, but everyone contributed to the effort and had a good time," said Waihi Walkways coordinator Ruth Ordish.

"Last year we started this project with more than 60 flaxes, and over summer we have been preparing the area for more. Today we planted 40 flaxes with the students, and our volunteers planted another 20 harakeke."

Although the wetland area is only small, when filled with flaxes it will provide nectar during the flowering season for birds such as tui, she says.

Student Emil Hoeft said the day was amazing, "because it helps us to learn about plants. We hope the flax will bring birds to the walkway".

His schoolmate Joshua Viljoen was also impressed by the experience. "The planting was hard work because my feet got wet stamping in the flax plants, but it was enjoyable. I was doing something for the environment."

The planting was a focal point of an education for sustainability programme at Goldfields School, said deputy principal Vicky Biltcliff.

‘Waihi Walkways chairperson Carol Speir thanked the students with a gift of two kowhai trees. "We look forward to working with the school again. We are all learning about the environment and how we can take better care of it."

Waihi Walkways volunteer Beryl George works with Goldfields School student James Carlsson

Waihi Walkways volunteer Beryl George works with Goldfields School student James Carlsson

The wetland project has been funded through the BOC Gases "Where There’s Water" community grants scheme, which supports projects to enhance wetlands and streamsides.

However, the harakeke were "donated" by being tossed on to the Victoria Street Reserve the previous weekend, said Ruth.

Twenty roots of the dumped plants were salvageable, and the rest were composted.

"We just ask that if people have such unwanted plants, they contact us instead of littering reserves."

Following its AGM at 5.45pm this Thursday at the Waihi Bridge Club, Waihi Walkways is hosting an open-invitation 7pm presentation on environmental initiatives taking place around Waihi, with contributions from Forest and Bird, Wild About Waihi, the Habitat Enhancement and Landcare Partnership, Newmont Waihi Gold and Transition Towns.

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Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand

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