Engaging with schools


About the project

Key to any restoration activity is community engagement. When valued by the community, the restoration effort has life beyond the life of the project. The area becomes a source of pride, is visited, cared for and maintained on an ongoing basis – by members of the community.

If children are engaged, they can develop a sense of ownership of an area, see the positive changes in the area over the years, and influence their parents to become involved.

Living Water is involving local schools Ohaupo Primary, Melville Intermediate and Te Awamutu College in the restoration work at the Waikato peat lakes.


  • Restoring the lake is creating a user-friendly outdoor classroom for the educational programmes of schools, DOC, and Enviroschool modules – creating lessons around nature, restoration, endangered species, pest control, water sampling, Māori cultural valuesetc.
  • Long term improvement to water quality allows for healthier biodiversity and recreational use of the lakes 
  • Planting opportunities enable kids to get hands-on, and through word of mouth it helps get the community engaged and buying in.


  • 20,000-30,000 plants put in by school visits
  • At least 25 school events
  • Ruatuna amenity block upgrade – fencing, access, signage, new kitchen cabinets, concreting and foundations for outside tables, pest and wasp eradication, firewood, view enhancement, new fireproof mattresses, tree pruning and pest plant removal.
Dion Patterson

Dion Patterson

DOC Supervisor Ranger, Waikato Peat Lakes


Completed 2019

Progress: 100%