12 December 2023

For the first time in 26 years Thornton School’s back field wasn’t under a pool of water at the end of winter.

The school had recently planted 300 plants around their BMX track with the help from Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s School Sustainability and Resilience Fund.

School Principal Shelley Bremner said being able to use the whole school’s field this time of year was a game changer.

Mrs Bremner said the area they planted was normally very wet and too boggy to play on. It was also every hard to maintain because of the water.

The school chose New Zealand natives to plant in the area so they could explore the use of rongoa (traditional Māori medicine ) and so more native birds would be attracted back to the area including kererū, bellbirds, and tui.

“This project provides an opportunity for our children to make a practical difference to their environment as well as learn about conservation and restoration,” Mrs Bremner said.

“This project will teach our students that global changes in climate contributes to the rise in groundwater levels and what we as a community can do to manage this risk.”

For more information please head to: School Sustainability and Resilience Fund (boprc.govt.nz)