Empowering Students in New Zealand To Make an Impact For Their Future
Gabrielle Clawson | November 24, 2022 | 5 min read
School-Aged Children Plant Trees and Restore Riparian Areas
On New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland teachers and students joined together with One Tree Planted and our planting partners to build a better future by planting trees across New Zealand. Our planting partner Trees for Survival works with children to empower them to make an impact through environmental actions that will help improve waterways and other environmentally at-risk sites, including erosion-prone hillsides and gullies.
For many reasons, New Zealand’s waterways have struggled to support healthy wildlife and biodiversity. After years of degradation, the waterways have become un swimmable and generally deemed unsafe. Planting in riparian areas is the best way to encourage aquatic life and bring back healthy biodiversity while also protecting surrounding communities from flooding.
This project provided 84,000 trees to these areas and engaged schools in New Zealand with mini nurseries and seedlings to care for, allowing children to play a key role in their future environment. This planting project has helped impact the environment and surrounding communities through education and engagement.
Intergenerational Bonding Through Planting
By now, we all know that planting trees helps impact the environment through carbon sequestration and improving biodiversity habitat, but did you also know that tree planting can help educate and empower future generations?
Our partner engages with 192 schools throughout Aotearoa-New Zealand, providing them with a shadehouse and 1,000 native seedlings. They re-supply the seedlings seasonally, year after year and currently have 117 planting sites — all of which are environmentally degraded areas.
Through this planting project, teachers, parents, whanau, + community groups. were able to come together to make a difference. Students go through a learning program and grow the trees over a period of months. When the seedlings were ready to be planted, they were connected with local landholders with degraded riparian areas that need trees. And bringing another layer of learning, the children were able to travel to the planting sites and plant the trees that they grew.
For each planting site, seedlings were ecologically sourced, professionally germinated, and potted up before being sent to schools. This gave students the opportunity to look after and nurture them before planting. Studies have recently shown that being involved in environmental activities positively impacts mental health, especially for young people. These students were able to make a difference while also promoting their health without even knowing it.
In an increasingly digital world, this planting project helped children (and adults) understand the importance of protecting the environment. Empowering the next generation to make a difference in their future is crucial, and we are so happy we were able to help these kids make an impact.
Not only did schools benefit from this planting project, but the entire community as well. Whenever trees are planted, the surrounding communities enjoy environmental benefits. However, this project sought to involve the community even further.
Our planting partner Trees for Survival employed local community members, benefiting the local economy with increased employment and locally sourced items. Parents, grandparents and sponsors were also invited to help the students, as well as those that live nearby the planting site.
Planting trees does so much for the environment, but we often forget how projects like these can impact people. Students were given the opportunity to learn and grow through the simple act of taking care of seedlings and then planting them. Teachers were able to provide a rich educational experience, and local community members gained valuable experience.
Here’s How You Can Support This Project
It’s so important that we work to preserve the environment for future generations, and sometimes, that means giving them the tools to impact their own future. This planting project empowered kids to become involved in their communities + protect their future. We are thrilled to support this work, and excited to see what the future holds for these future leaders!
Want to support amazing projects like this? Plant a tree in New Zealand today!