News article

Wetland Wonders – St Teresa’s School, Bluff – 19 November 2020

St Teresa’s School visited today to add to their growing knowledge of wetlands after a spring suddenly appeared on their school playing field! Playing leaf bingo the tamariki identified a number of the NZ native plants that have been used in the restoration of the forest and wetland at the nursery property. Hands on action included potting up mānuka and mingimingi seedlings – both plants that like wet habitats. Looking at the leaves we collected the class learnt that not all NZ natives like a wet habitat. With each student becoming a NZ native plant that does like water the school mapped out their place, planning out the planting of their school grounds. Plants were chosen according to height, and whether the groundsman would appreciate having to pick up leaves (tī kōuka was left out of their planting plan for this reason!). Then each student had to match the plant on their card to a real life growing plant in the nursery – and these wetland species were taken back to school ready to be planted according to the plan that was acted out! We look forward to visiting the school to see their progress. Pond nets were then emptied to look at what lives in the water habitat – with kōura, damselfly larva, tadpoles, water snails, and water boatman discovered and observed. The day long learning was finished with a walk through the remnant kahikatea swamp forest – where plenty of plants that like wet feet could be seen.

Try mapping your school grounds - use our “School Nature Challenge: Creating a School Garden Area - Map Your Place” found at

Bronwyn and Chris