cbs heritage NOT SELF ~ BUT SERVICE

the community forest

One corner of the school property (alongside the Peter Terrace Walkway) is occupied by a large section of native bush, which is regenerating after years of being slowly strangled and overgrown by exotic species and numerous weeds and rubbish. Between the 1980's and the school's 75th Jubilee celebrations in 2000, the bush had become littered with refuse, tracks were overgrown; and was generally in a severe state of degeneration.

The school undertook to rescue this little corner of natural New Zealand and has now created a lovely area for everyone to enjoy - even the cicadas, tuis, and woodpigeons (kereru). There is even a small marsh area which grows tussock and other wetland species. Excepting Rimu Track the entire area has been laid with raised wooden non-slip boardwalks to facilitate access throughout the year; the bush features many native plant species in various stages of growth - and more plantings are planned each year.

Tree donations are gratefully accepted by the school, and a plaque can be placed near the tree to mark the donor. Weekend working bees are held throughout the year, and volunteers enjoy a nice cuppa in the staffroom afterwards for their labours. The pupils also care for the forest as part of their curriculum - and everyone benefits! Visitors are welcome to walk through our forest, help with the weeding or make donations of native plants.

Minister for Conservation visits CBS

The Minister for Conservation, The Honorable Chris Carter visited Campbells Bay School on Friday 26 March 2004 to see our wonderful native forest. He was escorted through the forest by the pupils of Room 12 and Mrs Meder and shown some of our special trees and the areas that the classes will be working on this year. Mr Carter was pleased to hear about our project that started in 1995 to convert 1.5 hectares of scrub and rubbish into a magnificent teaching resource, with board walk, teaching spaces and native trees.

As Minister of Conservation, Mr Carter is the Member of Parliament that works in the Beehive in Wellington. He is in charge of conservation and the environment for the whole of New Zealand, so we were very lucky that he took the time to come our visit our special garden. We also showed Mr Carter our greenhouse where we hope to grow plants for our forest, from seeds taken off plants already in our forest (eco-sourcing). Mrs Meder is going to start an environmental group with pupils and also an organic vegetable garden and we hope to keep extending our programme at Campbells Bay.