News and Events

Georgetown Cubs 20 October 2020

A big thank you to the enthusiastic group of Georgetown Cubs for their mahi, planting out some special New Zealand native plants at the nursery property as part of their Conservation Badge. A discussion of the areas of NZ that have been deforested, and how restoration is improving nature put their action into context.

The group also learnt about the secretive wetland bird mātātā – the fernbird. The group was exceptional at keeping quiet (for such a large group) and some even heard the fernbird that was nearby. The group learnt what is being done to save it and how simple things like replanting wetland margins and pest control can help.


Myross Bush School Get Inspired - 19 October 2020

It was great to welcome big groups back, with two classes from Myross Bush School visiting to be inspired by the Southland Community Nursery environments and education centre. Following visits I made to each classroom at the school during September, we continued on our learning journey being inspired by all that was around us. We followed the pond track through the restored forest and trekked through the boggy swampy kahikatea swamp forest meeting the taonga native tree species that these students are learning about. We noticed the blue pollen of the kotukutuku flower, the distinguishing leaf features of many of our natives, learnt that most (but not all) NZ natives are evergreen (not deciduous) and hugged some trees. We smelt the tarata and horopito leaves. We learnt to identify native manu (birds) using photos and paintings and in the forest heard and saw bellbird, tui and piwakawaka. We learnt the meaning of terms like juvenile, heteroblastic, endemic, native, introduced, canopy and colonising, and wondered about all we saw. The kahikatea tree was spotted and we learnt and experienced the kind of habitat it likes to live in – swamp! Pests were met and discussions started about why we manage these species in our native forests. I’m sure the students and teachers left with some creative ideas and lots of more thinking will happen regarding what they can be inspired to do at their place.


Jo Ogier Art Workshop 17-18 October 2020

We are very pleased to bring Jo Ogier down from Christshurch for another art workshop - Making your own Nature Journal or Sketch Book - see details. Places are limited and bookings will be first come first served (with a reserves list for those who miss out). Book by emailing me at Enable JavaScript to view protected content.. Payments can be made once your booking has been confirmed.

kind regards


Creating a School Garden Area – what the JHC Y.E.S have been up to – Term 3 2020

September 18 and it was still raining (after days of wet), the grounds were sodden, showing the true nature of the nursery’s kahikatea swamp forest! Dodging horizontal rain showers, sheltering in the bush and getting wet and dirty the Y.E.S collected self-sown harakeke to be given a new home back at the junior campus. This start to establishing a pā harakeke at the campus is another garden project following the squad’s success building and planting new edible/vegetable garden boxes on site. While at the Southland Community Nursery we also learnt a bit about flax, looking at the seeds and what critters live in this plant.

The Y.E.S team have spent all term 3 being inspired – by an earlier visit to the Southland Community Nursery (see 7 August 2020 story), participating in a planting along the Waihopai River, visiting Sister Judith Robinson’s and the Riverton community food forests, and surveying their own campus.

Try our latest School Nature Challenge: Creating a School Garden Area – Map Your Place – check out


Community Nursery Open for Volunteers Friday 25 September 2020

The Community Nursery is open again for volunteers on Friday morning 25 September 2020. Spring is in the air – although you wouldn’t know it today! When you are out in nature look out for the first flowers of the season – tree Fuchsia, kohuhu and the tiny spider orchid – recently seen at Bluff Hill. There are also a range of fungi out and the scaup (diving ducks) have recently come back onto our pond.

Being spring the seedlings are starting to poke through in the nursery, cuttings starting to get roots and there is lots of potting and weeding to be done as well as sorting bags from recent plantings, cleaning up the nursery and tracks.

See you there – see previous news story for covid requirements