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Natural touch added to Flaxmere Playground


Armed with spades, wheelbarrows and bucketloads of enthusiasm, Kimi Ora Community School senior students were hard at work yesterday planting out the garden areas of Flaxmere Playground with natives.

The planting day arose from a presentation the students gave to the council about what plants they thought would enhance the playground, along with ideas water and imaginative play materials. 

Impressed with their efforts the Hastings District Council’s parks team asked them to help with a planting plan for the playground, which became a reality yesterday.

More than 400 native plants were chosen ranging from cabbage trees to Kōwhai, Rewarewa, Totara, Toetoe, Corokia, Kawakawa and Harakeke.

The work comes ahead of the playground’s grand opening day on June 13 ahead of the Matariki celebrations at Flaxmere Park the following evening.

Kimi Ora Community School principal Matt O’Dowda said getting involved with the plans for the playground was about helping to instill community pride in the students and their wider whanau.

“Any time they are part of something they feel good about it and look after it and that goes for their whanau as well.

“It’s also about getting kids back into nature – these guys have planted about 5000 natives at the school in the last five years and are doing a lot of other landscape designing as well.

“This is all part of the really cool stuff that’s happening in Flaxmere.”

Flaxmere councillor and Hastings City ambassador Henare O’Keefe thanked everyone involved in the Flaxmere playground project.

“This is our children giving the park their personal seal of approval. It’s taken a while but it’s been worth the wait.”

Photo: From left Kimi Ora Community School students Tautelulu Kiriti, 12, and Olivia O’Dowda, 12, mucking in at the planting day at Flaxmere Playground.

31 May 2019

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