Dargaville Intermediate school is a finalist for the 27th annual Green Ribbon Awards which recognises ‘outstanding contributions by individuals, communities and organisations to protect and manage New Zealand’s environment’.
It is one of three finalists in the ‘Leadership in Communication and Education’ section. Winners are announced on Thursday, June 8.
The nursery was started six years ago by environmental teacher and deputy principal Diane Papworth and school caretaker Dennis Hewetson.
Diane said “I just entered to put our school out there and didn’t realise we’d be a finalist, its pretty cool. All of our efforts are being recognised.”
The nursery has expanded every year and has contributed tens of thousands of plants to the Kaipara Harbour restoration project. The students, who chose to be part of the school’s ‘Enviro Kaha Club’ say they love it because they like helping the environment and being outdoors.
Student Max Hutchings said that what they plant on field trips stops sand dunes and soil eroding and absorbs runoff on farms and provides shelter for livestock. This year the school had a target to grow 10,000 plants which they have done, making them the only school in New Zealand to produce so many.