Conservation Award
KENAKENA SCHOOL WINS A MAJOR CONSERVATION AWARD

Last night at Parliament I was proud to accept a conservation award for ecological restoration and enhancement on behalf of Kenakena School for our 8 years of involvement in the restoration of Greendale Reserve, transforming it from a degraded stream environment running through grazed paddocks to a fantastic refuge for native plants and animals.

The inscription on the award reads:

2006 WELLINGTON REGION CONSERVATION AWARDS

In recognition of an outstanding contribution to conservation

By Kenakena School

For

Work on ecological projects and working in partnership with community groups in the Paraparaumu area.

August 2006

In 2001, the way we worked with the reserve restoration changed direction when we made the decision to send our 5-year olds to plant trees with the intention of then sending the same group of children each year as they became older and moved through the school. By doing this, we thought that those children would develop a keen appreciation for what they had been involved in and learn first-hand about the positive long-term benefits of a successful conservation project. Those children, and many of their parents went each year for five years to assist in the project by planting trees, showing a keen interest in the progress of ‘their trees’. It proved to be a great model of how local people can take responsibility for making a positive change to their environment.

Two of our students, Adam Mylne and Alex McDonald, who were part of the project from Age 5, also represented our school at last night’s ceremony, where we were presented with the award by Conservation Minister, Chris Carter. Assistant Principals Jane Brooking and Tina Buchanan, along with Adam’s parents and Alex’s Dad were also in attendance.

I would like to acknowledge:

Jo Fagan of the Wellington Regional Council for nominating Kenakena for the award.
Phil and Viola Palmer for approaching us all those years ago to be involved in the project and for ensuring our continued involvement.
Jane Brooking for co-ordinating the project for Kenakena School.
The parents and teachers who accompanied the children to Greendale Reserve each year.
Our students, for doing a fantastic job creating a successful conservation reserve.

EXCITING! MOTIVATING! POSITIVE!

Bruce McDonald