Buller High School students have made a big impact on their environment and community through long-term volunteer projects. We’re proud to acknowledge their hard work with the SVA Service Award Pins.

The school has been involved in the re-vegetation of the Cape Foulwind Walkway in a collaboration with the Department of Conservation for 22 years. Buller High School teacher, Jude Eakin, explains how the project has developed. “Four times a year, a new Environmental studies class from the High School continues the planting of native shrubs and trees along the walkway, seafront and carparks. This has grown to include the wider area of Tauranga Bay and Omau. Originally the Walkway was through windswept open paddocks, that have since been transformed into a dramatic environment of native vegetation”.

The re-vegetated areas support a multitude of wildlife such as sooty shearwaters, blue penguins, seals, lizards, and invertebrates. Students, teachers, DOC staff and parent helpers have helped out on the project over the years which has been recognized by 4 local and national environmental awards.

By the end of 2018, approximately 2335 students from 80 classes have planted 9225 native plants. The project is set to continue indefinitely.

Jude Eakin

Cape Foulwind isn’t the only volunteer project Buller High students are making a difference with. The school started a Kickstart Breakfast Club in 2016 with growing support from the community.

“We are open to all students in the Buller area and their whānau,  parents, siblings, grandparents.  This inter-generational approach is effective and inclusive. It also makes the transition to high school less threatening for our primary students. “

Jude Eakin

The students who volunteer make their school a better place. They make coffees and hot chocolates for teachers and visitors, and prepare meals for the visitors. It’s more than just food and drink though. This initiative nurtures relationships between students, teachers, and members of the public who attend.

“That the whole school, students and staff takes this seriously and has pride in the club is its strength.”

Jude Eakin

Thinking about a long term difference you can make through volunteering in your community? Talk with your local Council or community groups about what is needed in your area, and the skills you can bring to a project.