School oaks spread to road


Tamahere School students have planted between 1200 and 1500 acorns in seedling trays.
Some of the acorns that grow into oak trees will be planted along the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway, likely to include the Pickering pond and the Victoria Road Interchange, which will be the gateway to Cambridge.

Tamahere principal Waveney Parker says Cambridge is known for its oak trees.

“When we heard how many trees had to be removed for the expressway and how many oaks were needed for replanting we were excited to become part of the project.”

As an Enviroschool, Tamahere is always looking for ways to give back to the environment, she says.

“We also chose to grow oak trees because we have a number of magnificent oaks on our school property and the acorns rain down on classroom roofs. We are always trying to come up with creative ideas to deal with our many acorns.”

Older students helped young ones on the potting up day, and students also took photos of the experience. The plan next year is for students to make a field trip to plant out their oak seedlings.

Appropriately, the school motto is “Nurturing Our Future – Growing Together, Kia atawhai aa mua – Kia tipu ngatahi”.

Waveney says: “This is a local project that our students will be able to watch grow and be a part of for many years to come.”

Other schools involved in expressway planting are Hautapu School, Te Miro School and Cambridge Primary School where pupils have been growing native plants for the project.

The Cambridge section of the expressway is due for completion in 2016. With an entire project target finishing date of 2019, the Waikato Expressway will provide continuous divided four-lane highway from Auckland to southern Waikato. It will be 102 km long.

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