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Published: 2013-08-02 00:00:00

Green-fingered Cambridge High School students have planted 400 trees they’ve grown themselves along the Te Awa cycle way – the first of four such plantings to be undertaken over the coming weeks.

In total, students from four Waikato schools will plant about 1200 plants grown from seedlings as part of a joint project involving the Waikato Regional Council, Te Awa River Ride, Trees for Survival and Ngati Haua.

Cambridge High School, St Peters, Pukete and Horotiu schools each received growing units last year from Trees for Survival, as well as seedlings and equipment to both grow and plant native trees.

Students from Cambridge High School yesterday planted 400 carex, flax, kahikatea, manuka and totara plants at Karapiro yesterday.

“The regional council coordinates the Trees for Survival programme in the Waikato and we’ve found it creates community partnerships by engaging schools, their community, local businesses and councils to work together to restore our natural heritage,” said the council’s schools programme coordinator, Andrea Soanes.

“Students nurture seedlings for over a year and then plant them out, giving them an opportunity to be part of a bigger project.

“It promotes environmental stewardship and students have a real sense of achievement and connection to an area afterwards,” Mrs Soanes said.

At yesterday’s planting students were joined by a regional council land management officer and Ngati Haua representatives.

Mrs Soanes said Ngati Haua talked to the students about the history of co-governance and the importance of everybody working together to care for the environment. 

Te Awa River Ride chairman, Simon Perry, said: “Te Awa is our chance to celebrate the Waikato River – to link community, culture and ecology through active experiences.”

General manager Jennifer Palmer added, “Te Awa is more than a cycle way. The project is as much about delivering tangible community, cultural and environmental benefits and our partnership with Trees for Survival and the regional council is a great vehicle for delivering these benefits.”

When complete, the Te Awa River Ride will travel 70km between Ngaruawahia and Horahora and the path will, as much as possible, be constructed next to the Waikato River. 

Want to get involved with other groups in the region carrying out planting work? Visit

Next planting: 

9 August:         Horotiu School will plant near the Horotiu bridge

Date TBC:       Pukete School are due to plant along the cycleway at Te Rapa

Date TBC:       St Peters School will plant near the school