Barton Rural Schools planting on Caroline Bay. From left, Zoey Falconer (10), Lucy Coupland (11), Sophie Smith (11), Neave Bruin (11), Mac Brown (10) and Carlos Goodger (11), and at front, Ayla Burgess (10), Liam Moore (11), and Gareth Kearins (12).

A Kiwi Can project has resulted in 3000 native plants being planted on Caroline Bay to protect the foreshore.

Parents, staff, and 125 pupils from Highfield, Oceanview Heights, Timaru South and Barton Rural schools, 20 Sanford staff, and four Kiwi Can staff took part in the weekday planting, led by Timaru District Council contractor Kevin Moore.

The schools that took part offer the Kiwi Can values programme, and each year, pupils take part in a community project that teaches them about being good community citizens.

Regional manager for the Graeme Dingle Foundation, which runs the Kiwi Can project, Noeline Allan, said they had liaised with the council to find a project that was genuinely required.

“They suggested the sand-dunes planting at Caroline Bay. We discussed the project with Sanford to see if they would like to participate. They did, as it was close to their factory site and had an environmental focus relating to the sea front which matched their national community focus.

“We planted 3000 panau, spinifex and rushes across the morning. The council said this would have taken them two to three days in normal circumstances.

“There was great teamwork and co-operation. As the planting took place everyone systematically cleaned up after themselves .. children learned about the ecology of their beach, which is very important in their community. Members of the public walking along the beach came and got involved and positively commented and supported the children and their work that profiled both the schools and the programme positively.”

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