On Wednesday Finn Hibbert, Ronan Melville, Harry Burrow, Matthew Bolter and Gus Oberlin-Brown of the sustainability group visited Quarantine Island for the Enviroschools Hui.
Arriving in Port Chalmers around 9am, we were greeted with very brisk conditions. We boarded the boat and sat on the deck, despite constant sea spray, for the short journey to Quarantine Island.
Once we arrived we went to the hall for some very awkward icebreakers. We then sat down to a morning tea catered by Precinct which some boys, Harry Burrow in particular, very much enjoyed.
Next we began a waste audit activity, sorting through rubbish that had been collected on a beach on the island. It was really quite striking what litter was ending up on New Zealand beaches. After that we worked on dividing and potting up native plants which we would have planted that day, however it was too windy and cold to do so. Next we went on a tour of the island, learning of its history as a quarantine location for ships of settlers coming into Dunedin. At 12:30pm we had lunch and free time to explore the island. After a bit of football and one student getting stuck on a small cliff we headed back to the hall. Here we looked at what improvements we would like to see at our school, and worked on plans for our projects. School wide recycling bins is a particular project we want to get done this year. After this we boarded the boat and headed back to Port Chalmers on what was now a much calmer ocean.
Overall, this was a great experience for the boys involved. Some great networking from Ronan has also gotten us connections with OGHS, whom we hope to work with on future projects. This is a positive start to what will hopefully be a productive year for the sustainability group.
Thanks to Enviroschools and the Island Community for hosting us. A special thanks to Miss Garforth for driving us to and from and helping us throughout the day.