Trees into Schools

Five Year Project Transforms Selwyn Primary Schools

Two photos tell the story of the difference that a business initiative undertaken with Lincoln Envirotown have made to the grounds of Selwyn’s Primary Schools. In the first picture the Weedons student Sharria Rangihuna attends the planting of the first tree with then Deputy Mayor Sarah Walters and the driving force behind the initiative, Alan Peacock from Independent Signs; in the second Sharria and Alan stand beneath the same tree five years later.

Five years ago, in 2014 during a visit from a Responsible Business Coordinator from Lincoln Envirotown, Alan voiced the idea of an initiative to put fruit trees into the Primary Schools of Selwyn District. He gathered a group of businesses who were willing to support such an initiative, sponsoring up to ten trees for each school every year for five years. 

An important partner in the project was Aaron Bartlett whose company The Outdoor Space undertook to deliver the trees purchased, and advise the students on their planting. The students played a significant role in determining the placing, planting and use of the fruit in years to come.

Most of our Primary Schools have benefited immensely from this undertaking including new schools that came into existence after 2015 when it all started.

This five-year project has now finished and Lincoln Envirotown would like to thank the following for their support during every year of this hugely sustainable and community driven project:

Liffey Springs Water Testing and Clean Up

During Keep New Zealand Beautiful Clean Up Week in September we headed along to the Liffey River for a variety of activities.

We joined the many groups and organisations around New Zealand who during this one week in September hold events to remind us that New Zealand must be kept beautiful by us all.

The event, as usual, was organised with three school levels (Pre-school, Primary School, and High School) and each group had its own set of activities all aimed at maintaining an awareness of keeping our environment as pristine as possible.

The pre-school set about picking up as much rubbish as could be found. Gloves and bags were provided by the Keep New Zealand Beautiful organisers and the rubbish collected was carefully sorted. Many items were in fact recyclable or able to be upcycled and did not have to add to any landfill.

A small group from the primary school were shown by Waterwatch how to collect water from the stream and look for tiny creatures that live in the water and how they can be an indicator of water quality. The High School arrived later and did more elaborate testing on the river water finding, as is too usual these days, a high level of nitrates. Click to see the full results.

Whilst all the activities were pursued with enthusiasm and interest, it is fair to say that the most interest and enthusiasm were reserved for the sausages that Lincoln New World traditionally provide and cook for us. These were very much enjoyed after everyone had endeavoured, in their own small way, to keep a part of New Zealand beautiful.

Selwyn Businesses Working Towards Environmental & Community Awards

Click to take the 2019 survey

The Selwyn Responsible Business Awards began in earnest in early June 2019. These are run by Lincoln Envirotown with the generous support of the Selwyn District Council.

Much work has been done on the online survey to make it a streamlined and enjoyable process and judging by the number of businesses that have already completed it, this goal has been achieved. It is aimed at providing a thought provoking exercise which prompts businesses to examine the environmental and community engagement aspects of their practices. Coordinators have been appointed to visit those businesses who opt to undertake the process, to assess and discuss their surveys and grant them an appropriate award.

Awards will be presented at a big event in the latter part of October. This is always an enjoyable evening and a celebration of the achievements of all our Selwyn businesses. Businesses receive certificates and “digital badges” for their media pages and stationery.

The chance to take part in this scheme is offered to all Selwyn businesses every two years. Over the years more than 150 businesses have participated and many improve on their award in successive periods as they implement new initiatives. This has been a very pleasing aspect of the project.

Businesses off er many reasons for entering, including:

• It is important to see where they are at in terms of environmental practices

• It is becoming more important to customers so businesses must show that they are concerned about these important issues.

• It is good to have an outside opinion regarding what more can be done.

• Some environmentally friendly initiatives save money.