Our PLACE is an environmental project in Western Porirua, with a vision to “empower young people of Porirua to connect with, revitalise and protect te taiao”.
The project, originally ran under the auspices of the Porirua Harbour Trust, beginning in late 2019 with seed funding from DOC and strategic support from local stakeholders.
Student leaders from five schools (aged 9 – 16) worked together to develop their vision for the local environment, by exploring local places and learning about the history and significance of waterways, plants and animals. This includes bush walks with local kindergartens, planting native trees, monitoring wildlife and organising events to involve the wider community.
The students were guided by coordinators, who had strong connections with the local community, including mana whenua. They provided professional learning for teachers and support schools and centres to provide opportunities for all students to spend time in nature and take positive action.
Ongoing funding support for the project was provided by the Philipp Family Foundation, for which the Trust was very thankful.
Following the resignation of the Trust’s Education Coordinator, Rebecca MacCormack in mid 2021, the Trust decided to step away from governance of the Project and to hand responsibility to a Strategic Group led by Dr Rob Stratford, the Deputy Principal of Mana College. This occurred at the end of 2021.
Teachers trying out nature activities as part of professional learning in 2020