Nurturing a natives nursery

23 Aug 2017

Tucked in a sheltered spot, hidden away on campus, the Environment Committee has been nurturing a nursery of around 25 different native species. Now, around 400 juvenile plants are just about ready to transfer to a permanent location on the banks of the River Avon.

Head of Environment and Year 13 student James Newton says the idea grew, quite naturally, out of a desire to help. “There’s a big emphasis on regeneration in Christchurch and we wanted to do something tangible, something everyone could enjoy, and something that would create a lasting legacy.”

The committee received a grant from Round Square, which enabled them to buy weedmat, soil, an automatic timer and watering equipment, and obtained locally-sourced seedlings to ensure all the plants are adapted for local conditions.

They are working closely with the Shirley Boys’ High School’s EcoAction group and the project is being run under the auspices of the Avon-Otakaro Network, which is dedicated to creating a multi-purpose river park and ecological reserve in the red zone.

“The whole point of regeneration is to create an environment not only for native trees, but also to attract native birds and wildlife,” says James. “It’s been really good to be part of something bigger than ourselves. I hope this project continues to build momentum ... perhaps one day College might get its own reserve and be able to see it grow year by year.”

The Environment Committee invites members of the College community to pay $15 to sponsor a plant. Sponsors will receive an electronic certificate acknowledging their support and commitment to regeneration, as well as GPS coordinates marking the location of their plant. Money raised will be used as a “seedling fund”, helping to buy more plants so this forward-looking enterprise can thrive.

For more information, contact James at

Environmental Committee nursery