Enviroschoools WaiRestoration comprises seven strands – WaiFencing, WaiNurseries, WaiPlanting, WaiMaintenance, WaiMonitoring, WaiEnterprise and Save a Species.
WaiRestoration looks at our relationship with fresh water and how past and present practices have affected the mauri of waterways. School communities investigate and understand water – where it comes from, the diversity of life it supports and its life-giving properties.The programme gets young people and local communities involved in the restoration of waterways and biodiversity. Its success is a result of relationship building using a regional approach that harnesses the power of partnerships and collaboration.These genuine partnerships between tangata whenua, schools, community agencies and farmers/landowners are vital to the programme, which involves and excites thousands of young people all around the country.
WaiFencing – keeping stock out of waterways
Students learn how to build fences to exclude stock from waterways and other biodiversity-rich areas. They are taught to identify fencing tools and materials, practice fencing knots and ties, how to construct strainer assemblies, how to build and repair a multiple wire fence line, and electric fencing. Students can gain NCEA credits through this course.
WaiNurseries – growing riparian plants
Students love learning skills important for running a plant nursery in this strand. They are shown how to set-up and maintain a nursery, and find out about eco-sourcing, sowing seeds, potting-on, making cuttings and local bush knowledge.
WaiPlanting – planting beside waterways
Students learn how to plant riparian zones – the strips of land beside streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and drains. They find out what, where and how to plant, and become skilled at using native species to stabilise stream edges and filter or absorb runoff.
WaiMaintenance – keeping out plant and animal pests
Students learn that controlling plant and animal pests is essential to healthy riparian zones. They learn how to identify and control weeds and animal pests and get involved in the management of the areas they plant.
WaiMonitoring – testing and tracking water quality
Students are shown how to monitor water quality through a series of tests including pH, clarity, and temperature. They observe and record other indicators of healthy water such as invertebrates, fish and vegetation and they can monitor plant and animal pests to see what effect they have on native plant growth rates and survival.
WaiEnterprise – creating sustainable employment
School communities learn about the economic opportunities that can arise from caring for the waterways, including fencing, selling plants and providing a planting and maintenance service. Students can be part of a whole-of-school focus or pursue their own areas of interest.
Save a Species – restoring endangered plants and animals
Using Department of Conservation survey information and expert support, students can learn about threatened plants and animals in their local area. They can choose to help save a species through a range of actions including habitat protection and propagating plants