Town Belt Kaitiaki group ready to go

Green fingers . . . Planning for this year's Town Belt Kaitiaki projects are (from left) link teacher for St Hilda's Collegiate School Geraldine Corkery, Otago Boys' High School pupil Benjamin Burrow (15), Balmacewen Intermediate pupils Megha Senthilkumar (10) and Laura Allison (12), education co-ordinator Claudia Babirat, and St Hilda's Collegiate School pupil Stephanie Post (17). PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

After spending two nights on Quarantine Island last month, the Town Belt Kaitiaki education group is looking forward to putting its plans for the year into action.

St Hilda’s Collegiate School pupil Stephanie Post said the group spent a weekend on the island to gel as a team and “focus on the year ahead”.

They came up with goals, which included making a recognisable brand, setting up competitions, and planting more natives.

The group was working with Otago Polytechnic design students for six weeks to create a logo, website, and other social media platforms.

“They have got some super innovative ideas and they also have the skills to make it happen,” Stephanie said.

At the group’s next meeting, members will have a clean-up of the town belt to re-familiarise themselves with the area.

Link teacher for St Hilda’s Collegiate School Geraldine Corkery said the town belt was a “place for learning”, and the school had incorporated it into its curriculum, such as in science and art classes.

There were about four early childhood centres involved in the programme and pupils planned to work with centres in their area, she said.

Otago Boys’ High School pupil Benjamin Burrow said the group would run its photography competition again, but hoped to expand it and start it earlier than last year.

He liked that the programme was becoming more pupil-led, as it allowed them to develop new skills and have different experiences.

“It sets us up for bigger things in the future.”

Balmacewen Intermediate pupil Megha Senthilkumar joined the group this year because she wanted to make the world a better place by planting, and protecting animals.

“I love nature and I wanted to save it.”