Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s latest cohort of farming students in the Eastern Bay recently partnered with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Toi Moana) and Waimana farmer Matt Gow to plant approximately 1000 native plants along a stream within the Tauranga River catchment.
The students loved the opportunity to learn some new skills and give back to a landowner that has supported the farming course for many years and currently employs two Toi Ohomai graduates.
Students had the opportunity to network with Matt, as well as meet the graduates that he employs to ask questions and learn from their experience.
The students received great feedback from the Council. According to Charles Harley, Team Leader for Eastern Catchments, riparian planting is a crucial part of mitigating nutrient and soil loss and enhancing biodioversity.
“The newly planted trees will help stabilise the banks of the river, providing a filter for sediment and nutrients, as well as providing shade and habitat for native species,” says Charles.
“The effort put in by these students was amazing and what was once a daunting task for landowners has become very achievable thanks to their input.”
Toi Ohomai has since helped with another planting within the Waiōtahe catchment, which is a focus catchment for the Council.
Agriculture tutor Rachel Nash says the partnership with the Council provides the opportunities to students to work with industry and learn about environmental and sustainable farming practices.
“Sustainability and technology is embedded within in our farming systems qualification, this project gave our students the chance to apply what they have learned.
“We’re really proud of the outcomes and look forward to partnering with the Council again soon.”