Wellington City Council KETE Programme Co-ordinator Sue Lum says that with guidance from environmental experts, students are given the opportunity to work on projects within the community and their schools.
“All students across the eight schools in Tawa are involved in KETE, and there are also about 20 to 25 students involved in the Student Leadership Team that lead the initiatives. They are a bunch of passionate young people. They are encouraged to take action as a result of what they have learnt.
“It’s all about those next steps. We help them to understand the importance of New Zealand's unique endemic flora, fauna and ecosystems, and why we need to look after them. We involve them in habitat restoration, pest control and more.”
Alongside the student-led backyard projects for their schools, there are bigger community projects where all the schools come together to take part in environmental action, along with iwi, community conservation groups, and other stakeholders, says Sue.
“We’ve done a big community restoration planting at Takapū Valley, where every school has their own designated area which they planted and will be kaitiaki of, going into the future. This huge effort resulted in over 7000 plants in the ground. We could not have done this without community support!”