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Speaking for the trees: school students back native planting

Our Kiwi kids have made it pretty clear that they’re committed to combatting climate change: and the tamariki at Loburn School near Rangiora are no exception. Their school production last year helped plant 68 native trees—read on to find out how!

With just 155 students, Loburn School (Te Kura Aromauka) is a close-knit community. 

“We feel we’re one big family, and like to plan events and activities that involve all of the students together,” explains Principal Stuart Priddy.

Loburn students are also keen to contribute to their local community: and with the 2021 theme ‘Changemakers’, they began exploring ways to give back to Canterbury.

This focus outside the school walls was the perfect match with an environmental unit to create the school’s 2021 production of The Lorax, which raised funds for Trees That Count. 

The students quickly embraced the environmental studies in combination with the production. 

“It was a fun way to learn about sustainability and how to conserve our native trees,” says Maddie, Year 7.

“Learning about sustainability versus human impact, and the delicate relationship between all the factors is complicated. But it was done in a fun way,” explains Willow, Year 7.

“As well as learning about sustainability and environmental changes, we wanted the students to ask ‘So what? What can we do?’ Giving a donation to a nation-wide organisation was our way of making a positive change,” says Stuart. 

Students (in full costume) collected donations in the foyer of Rangiora Town Hall before and after the production, which ran over two nights. 

The audience of whānau and community members were enthusiastic about both the show and the donations, raising enough funds to plant 68 native trees.

The students’ native trees will be planted by the Carlyon family at their native regeneration project in Lyttelton, which has been running since 2014. 

The family is working to regenerate native bush on around 70% of their nine acre block, which will help bring tūī and other native birds back to the area—and the native trees funded by the Loburn students will help them to reach the milestone of 5,000 native trees planted. 

Students are also involved in the practical side of planting at school. 

“We are an EnviroSchool. We have Green-Gold status and we worked hard to achieve this by putting the environment first. 

We try to eliminate waste and save energy, we have a Nature Zone for wildlife, we have an orchard with bee-loving plants, and we increase biodiversity by continually planting native trees and plants for pollinators,” say Maddie and Emma, Year 7.

Ka rawe, Loburn School! The team at Trees That Count are very proud of you for looking after our native trees and working so hard to learn about the environment. 

Would your school like to create an initiative to fundraise for native trees? You can set up a Tree Registry to crowdfund for native trees here, or get in touch at