Restoring the flora, fauna and birdlife along the Hangatahua Awa, also known as Stoney River, is important to students from Coast Taranaki School.

Principal Scott Walden, left, and students from Coastal Taranaki School.

To support this restoration, Year 9 – 13 students from the school are now managing 18 DOC200 stoat traps which cover two kilometres along Blue Rata Reserve in Okato.

Many of the students who will check the traps, also built them, thanks to their participation in the mentoring programme New Horizons Aotearoa.

Coastal Taranaki School principal Scott Walden says the adoption of the trapline provides a rich, purposeful and contextually relevant learning experience for its students.

“Our coastal community values service to others and is proud of our beautiful environment,’ says Scott. “This environmental action requires us all to do our part and contribute to the wider goals in order to prevent the extinction of our native species on the Maunga.”  

As well as environmental benefits, the learning opportunities are immense.

“Our children are our future leadership and teachers of the generations to come therefore it is essential that they are actively engaged in this learning,” says Scott.

Taranaki Mounga Project Manager Sean Zieltjes is grateful to the school for taking on this commitment.

“It’s a big job and over time students will see and hear the positive impact they are making,” says Sean. “Their work, along with the hundreds of volunteers across Taranaki is collectively restoring biodiversity from ki uta ki tai (mountain to sea). Their efforts on Blue Rata are directly supporting their Mounga at a time where he needs a hand.”

Both Coastal Taranaki School and Taranaki Mounga would like to thank New Horizons Aotearoa for providing the opportunity for students to participate in their programme, which has led to the adoption of this trapline.