Te Kawau stream runs through a large part of the north and western suburbs of Palmerston North City.
It was an important source of food for the local Rangitane, but has been neglected over the years and become polluted with rubbish.
Siobhan Kariatiana from Te Ao Turoa Environment Centre and Heather Knox, from Palmy Plastic Pollution Challenge have been instrumental in cleaning up the stream with the aim of returning it to its former glory.
Our Palmerston North centre learners were invited to help with the stream clean-up, and on October 22 – thankfully a bright and sunny day – our ESOL Literacy and ESOL Intensive classes gathered at Tui Park for a morning of volunteering. Many learners live in this area so it was great to do something in our local community.
We were given plastic bags, gloves, pickers and for those keen to venture into the stream, waders! Teacher Vanessa disturbed an eel in the stream – we aren’t sure who was more surprised but we do know who made the most noise!
After about an hour of picking up rubbish, and a few wet feet later, we gathered for some well-earned refreshment and looked at all the things we found. Cans, bottles, oven trays, carpet, plastic bags, umbrellas, a laptop, bits of metal large and small, baby strollers, bike parts and even a bag of rotten meat!
Ka pai everyone and thanks for the mahi! We hope to be back again next year.
Photos: Charlie Higgison