Poetry walk scores school top prize

Leonie Marshall, 9, Teana Clarke, 9, George Glover, 9, Meg Flanagan, 8, and Yazmin Shipley, 11.
Leonie Marshall, 9, Teana Clarke, 9, George Glover, 9, Meg Flanagan, 8, and Yazmin Shipley, 11.

Poetry and plastic fish have landed Springlands School an environmental award and $500 for their work on river conservation in Blenheim during the past two years.

Marlborough deputy mayor Jenny Andrews presented the biennial School Environment Award to representatives of Springlands School environment group Go Mad - which stands for Making A Difference - at a ceremony in Blenheim on Friday.

The award is run in conjunction with the Marlborough Environment Award, which will be decided in March.

Cr Andrews said it was great when schools led the way in cleaning up waterways.

"It is great that you are making a difference in your patch."

Go Mad established a writer's walk along the Taylor River, near the Beaver Road bridge, where poems were inscribed on plaques and set into rocks on the riverbank.

They also installed blue plastic fish near storm drains to remind people that any pollutants that went into the drains were not treated and could kill native fish and plants.

Other schools in the area had got involved and 300 blue fish had been installed in drains throughout the region.

Yazmin Shipley, 11, is at Bohally Intermediate but was part of the original group at Springlands School that set the project in motion in 2010.

"I thought it would just go for one year but it has gone on and progressed. It makes me feel proud, " she said.

Springlands pupil George Glover, 9, joined the group because he wanted to help the environment.

"I really like environmental stuff. I'm not sure why, I just want to do it."

The two runners-up were Spring Creek School, for their edible garden enclosure and native plantings, and Renwick School, for their work on a nearby creek, and both received $250. There were 32 entries into the competition.

The Marlborough Express