Te Ranga School's Bush Classroom
Te Ranga School is proud to have a bush classroom located within a 2-hectare tract of native forest on the Marks Farm. The aim of this project is to create a space where our students can learn about New Zealand's native flora and fauna while also developing a love and appreciation for the bush through sustainable practices, biodiversity, and sound ecological management.
Our bush classroom is not just a place for play but also for practicing citizen science and learning about the world around us. By looking after our little slice of bush, we can play a part in wider conservation efforts in our area. In fact, our piece of bush is a part of the growing bush corridor between Otaniwainuku and Kaharoa Forests, which is a major Kiwi and Kokako project in our area. We hope that by managing our space and encouraging work in the tracts of bush on surrounding farms, these endangered birds will use them as a highway between the two forests. There is already evidence that this is beginning to happen!
Te Ranga School is working with community groups such as the Pariti Catchment Care Group and Bay Conservation Alliance towards the wider picture of conservation in our area. The children are fully involved in the project and are in charge of the trapping and have multiple projects running in the tract. We are also planting new areas to grow the bush corridor and building new tracks around the areas that include boardwalks over the pond, over exposed roots, and stairs to enable access up a steep slope.
Our bush classroom is a valuable resource for our students and the wider community. It provides a unique opportunity for hands-on, real-world learning where students have an opportunity to effect change. It encourages the development of environmental awareness and a sense of responsibility for conservation. We are excited to continue working on this project and look forward to sharing our progress with you.