Buller District Council, the Inangahua Community Board, OceanaGold and three Reefton schools joined forces recently to plant trees along the Inangahua River, as part of the Strand Revitalisation Project in Reefton on the South Island of New Zealand.

Reefton Early Learning Centre, Sacred Heart School and Reefton Area School are all Enviroschools. There are over 1,300 Enviroschools around New Zealand, participating in an environmental action-based programme where young people are empowered to design and lead sustainability projects in their schools, neighbourhoods and country. Buller District Council is an Enviroschools regional partner.

OceanaGold’s Reefton Restoration Project donated 150 manuka and 50 beech trees to the Strand Project. The balance of the 400 trees planted were funded from the Buller District Council Community-led Revitalisation funding given to the Strand Revitalisation Project.

Each school was responsible for a different area. Sacred Heart planted on the Rosstown Road side, students from Reefton Early Learning Centre looked after the Lower Strand side and students from Reefton Area School planted the area behind the swimming pool and beside the look-out pier.

Earlier in the month Reefton Restoration Project staff had partnered with students at Sacred Heart School to plant seedlings on the school grounds, while in September they gave a tree seedling to each person who attended the opening of the Golden Globe Theatre at the Reefton Visitor Centre as a reminder of the event.

Reefton Restoration Project Environmental & Restoration Coordinator Steph Hayton said that OceanaGold had planted over 700,000 native seedlings at the mine site, with plans for at least another 200,000 by the end of 2022.

“It’s great to share some of the beautiful native trees we plant onsite with the community through planting initiatives. At the end of the day are all working towards the same goal, a resilient and sustainable environment,” Steph said.

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