Pupils add native plants at pump track

    Otatara Primary School pupils (from left) Liam Shannon (5), Elise Charlton (10), Freya Gilmour (9), Caleb Ward (5), Aliana Taylor (5), Sophie Harvey (9), Grace Nyhof (9) and Lucy Aurik (9), learn about plants from Nancy Zhao and Shona Tomlins at the Gostelow Park pump track in Otatara.

    A COMBINED effort from the Invercargill City Council (ICC) and Otatara School has seen a variety of native plants added to the Gostelow Park pump track.

    The park opened before Christmas last year, after former Otatara resident Derek Gostelow left $90,000 in his will for the ICC to use for community projects within the Otatara community.

    The ICC co-ordinated with the primary school to get pupils to help with planting around the pump track.

    ICC parks and recreation manager Caroline Rain said ICC staff were also doing some teaching and training with the pupils about how to continue looking after the plants after they had been established.

    “Hopefully it means that the kids will become kaitiaki and care for this space for a long time.”

    Assistant principal Carla Werder said the project fit beautifully within the school’s localised curriculum and valued localised values, particularly kaitiakitanga, looking after the space and the Gostelow legacy.

    “The product is a celebration of the planting, but the whole process from designing and getting ideas, right through to planting – looking at native plants and what plants fit best here, it’s been a huge part of not only our school community, but the wider community.”