In late 2017, Kiwibank Predator Free Schools was launched as a partnership between Predator Free NZ and Kiwibank which gives schools a hand up to extend their conservation goals.
Soon after, Trees That Count teamed up with Predator Free Schools so that as well as receiving $1000 to get a predator control programme going, successful Kiwibank Predator Free Schools will be able to apply to ‘Trees That Count’ for up to 100 native trees to plant in their school grounds or surrounding neighbourhood.
It’s a partnership that makes a lot of sense.
Our native wildlife faces twin threats: lack of good habitat and predation by introduced mammals. Both threats need to be addressed for our native birds, lizards and insects to thrive. So Trees That Count and Kiwibank Predator Free Schools want to encourage participating schools to tackle both challenges in tandem.
There are additional benefits too. Trees take up greenhouse gases and combat climate change. But more than that they provide shade in hot summer playgrounds, places to play and they hold significant cultural value to us as New Zealanders. And let’s face it, it just feels great to have more trees around! In these days of shrinking suburban sections and urbanisation, there isn’t always a lot of room for trees in home backyards. School playgrounds have lots of space for trees – and children – to grow.
Twenty-one new schools from around the country have been announced as 2019 Predator Free Schools, where they will receive up to $1,000 worth of equipment to help them trap and remove predators from their area, as well as up to 100 native trees from Trees That Count.
The traps and trees can either be put in their school grounds or surrounding neighbourhood, where they will help grow and maintain wildlife-friendly habitats and homes for native birds, reptiles and insects.
Ten schools have already taken part in Predator Free Schools in 2018, and the good news is they’ll also be eligible to apply for trees from Trees That Count.
The programme also includes a package of resources and support for teachers designed to be a one-stop shop for ideas on how to experience our native species, understand why they are at risk of extinction and discover ways to support them.
Bringing schools into their local ecosystems helps teach young people about the environment and how introduced predators impact our native flora and fauna. Trees That Count is thrilled to be part of this work, and to congratulate the following schools that have been chosen to take part in Kiwibank Predator Free Schools programme next year:
- Barrytown School, West Coast
- Bay of Islands International Academy, Bay of Islands
- Bluff School, Bluff
- Diamond Harbour School, Christchurch
- Haumoana School, Hastings
- Hira School, Nelson
- Kaharoa School, Rotorua
- Kuratau School, Turangi
- Nuhaka School, Hawkes Bay
- Orere School, Auckland
- Paraparaumu Beach School, Kapiti Coast
- Patea Area School, South Taranaki
- St Andrew’s Primary School, South Canterbury
- St Gerard's Primary School, Alexandra
- St Joseph’s School, (Waitara), North Taranaki
- Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae, Auckland
- Te Mahia School, Hawkes Bay
- Wainui Beach School, Gisborne
- Wainuiomata High School, Wellington
- Waiouru School, Manawatu
- Wanaka Primary School, Central Otago