Free-lunch plan bears fruit
When the plans of three Nelson Intermediate girls grow to fruition, students will be able to pick their own healthy lunches from fruit trees dotted around the school.
Pupils dug up unused portions of the school grounds yesterday morning to plant a citrus grove of orange and lemon trees. Other fruit will include apples, berries, feijoas, nectarines, apricots, almonds and hazelnuts.
Kate Silk, 13, Jazmin King, 12 and Nicole Goldsworthy, 13, are behind the original idea of Fresh On Our Doorstep (Food), which was developed by last year's special-interest club Envirogroup.
"We always forget our lunches and we wanted something to eat," Nicole said,
The trio said they were proud to think that their idea meant other students would be able to harvest their own free lunches from trees on the school grounds.
Enviroschools leader and teacher Lisa Hunter said each class had a chance to help with the planting so that the whole school felt a personal connection to the project.
Kate, Jazmin and Nicole had to make a formal application to the school board to request use of the spaces around the school.
They had to write a letter and present a map marked with the proposed locations for the trees.
The project was approved last term, and funded with a $500 grant from the Nelson Enviroschools Environment Action Fund.
The fund also gave $500 for a water catchment tank to be built next to a vegetable garden planned for behind the school gym.
"This is their voice and what they learned is that it doesn't matter how old you are, you still have a voice," Mrs Hunter said.
She said every school had a few students who came to school hungry for one reason or another. She also thought the initiative would help educate the students.
"With the price of food these days, either you can't buy it or you don't know where to get it. We want to open it up."
Mrs Hunter said the students planned to plant feijoa trees close to the walkway by the Railway Reserve so that the public could help themselves.
Envirogroup leader Stacey Gundry, Nelson City Council Enviroschools facilitator Lindsey Fish, Kids Edible Garden facilitator Fay Vaughan and council environmental education workers Jo Martin and Sarah Langi assisted with the project's development.
- © Fairfax NZ News