Contribution by Joelle Martin Communications Coordinator, Inspired Kindergartens
Over four years ago, when home-based educator Jenny Collier spied the Pohutukawa seeds which had floated on the wind from her neighbour’s tree down into her backyard it’s said that her green thumbs began to tingle. Last week, 30 of those original wind-swept seeds triumphed as thriving Pohutukawa trees; celebrated and adorned at the epicentre of Meri Kirihimete / Christmas festivities in Whitianga’s Bike Park by local home based education families.
All of Whitianga’s home based families were present, participating in the dressing of the trees event complete with kai and Christmas waiata. Special care was taken by our Whitianga educators/kaiako, Tracie, Jess and Jenny to ensure that all products used were natural and biodegradable - driftwood and sea shells being their wee artists’ preferred choice of medium. Care was given right down to the water-soluble paint used to decorate their Kirihimete ornaments. The grove of Pohutukawa flourishing in the community’s beloved recreation reserve, Bike Park, has been named ‘Inspired Creek’ in recognition of the Whitianga home based whānau/community who cultivated the seeds into seedlings and then planted the trees in the park four years ago. Since then, the group has added other plant varieties to the park, and participated in the Whitianga’s dune restoration project.
A parent of one fledging Pohutukawa-grower, remarked that no visit to the park was complete without first visiting ‘their tree’.
A very big, green, Meri Kirihimete to our home based educators and all who come to visit the trees at Whitianga’s Bike park.
The three Inspired Kindergartens educators, Jess Lee Glynos, Jenny Collier and Tracie Collier, with Kathryn Hawkes, (Homebase Co-ordinator), and Lauola Davies (parent), accompanied by the children at their Bike Park Christmas trees.