"In July 2021 we were invited by Ralph Goodwin, and his assistant James McKibbin, to plant natives up in the forest. Even their dogs Gracie and Boo came!
On the way into the forest, our group looked out of the car window and saw a New Zealand falcon swooping around and out of sight. It was like the forest was greeting us.
We walked through the sunny path listening to the birds singing. Soon we stopped and looked at a big rewarewa tree.
Then Ralph started to talk about his family history and how his family, the Goodwin family, had owned Silverstream forest for nearly one hundred years. We talked about all the kinds of trees in the forest and how one tree we saw was nearly 300 years old.
We each took a little tree to carry down to the planting site. Soon we came to a beautiful spot where we stopped and planted our trees.
One of the dads brought a drone with a camera on and he flew his drone up above the trees. We all had to stand well back. We all stood in amazement as the drone flew above our heads.
He made us a movie with amazing pictures and it was an incredible result.
Then we had morning tea. We sat on some logs and started to eat but the dogs Gracie and Boo were very interested in our food. When one boy (with particularly fine home baking) sat down to eat his morning tea with his mum, Gracie tried to eat his cake. She was a very friendly dog.
On the way back we went up a steep steep hill and only the strongest got to the top first.
One of the boys ate an alive huhu grub (eww!) which he found in a dead tree stump. What a guy!
We all know how much planting trees means to you and we learn at school that native trees build an important habitat for our native birds.
Everyone had a fantastic time up in the bush and we would all love to come up again next year and plant more trees with you."
We'd love to have you all back again next year too.
Thanks again to everyone who came along!
Ralph, James, Gracie and Boo