Project Title: The MAGS Farm Sustainable Education Project

Funding Close Date: 20 Mar 2020



Metres Planted:
300 m

NZD $16500

Location: Mount Albert Grammar School

GPS Coordinates: -36.886545, 174.724900

Project Cost: NZD $16500

Cost per Metre: NZD $55

Metres to be planted: 300m

Field Partner: Auckland Council

Project ID: NI40

Project Description:

About us

The ASB MAGS Farm at Mount Albert Grammar School (MAGS) was established in 1932. The Auckland Institute of Horticulture felt that children growing up in urban areas were losing knowledge of farming practices and asked Mount Albert Grammar to teach agriculture and horticulture. Today it is a 8.1 hectare working farm. It features a variety of livestock and a classroom setting where, each year, 260 students from Years 10-13 learn Agricultural and Horticultural Science. Central to this education is the importance of healthy waterways.

The stream

The stream we want to plant comes from a spring, likely a lava tube, underneath Owairaka (Mount Albert). Water flows 350 metres through our model farm before being piped underneath MAGS and into the Meola Creek.

The stream has been neglected for many years. Blocked culverts have resulted in pools of stagnant water and the stream diverting from its original course, inhibiting vehicle and stock access. Wetland planting by the old Auckland Regional Council was never maintained, creating overgrown plants and ground cover, thick with weeds.

The stream is the backbone of the farm, providing an education resource and habitat for native flora and fauna. The farm has been used for education at Mount Albert Grammar School since 1932, but has not been especially well maintained in the last 50 years. This lack of maintenance has seen the stream and water quality degrade to its current state. Luckily, we have a plan….

Our plan to restore thE stream

Our project aims to breathe life back into the farm. The stream will be improved with new culverts, fencing and native tree species planted. Our last planting day involved 50 plus volunteers; a BBQ, coffee cart and information from Watercare on their latest super scale project, the Central Interceptor. We are starting with the stream and pasture, before moving on to the education facilities.

Our plan is to develop a world class agri-food and fibre experience centre in the middle of Auckland. Central to this will be education, and an experience around environmental protection of our precious waterways. Our nation, industry and our existence rely on quality freshwater and we want to ensure that we do our part in protecting the water quality in the area.

Currently 260 students from MAGS use the farm for studying agriculture and agribusiness, with a further 3000 visitors per year mostly from pre-schools and primary schools.

Our project

The trees that we have already planted were all grown in our nursery on the farm. Million Metres funding will be used to purchase 2000 more eco sourced native trees which will be planted along 300m of stream.

The funds will go towards site preparation, fertiliser tablets and plant guards to provide protection from the Pukekos that enjoy digging up the precious plants.

We are so lucky to have a very enthusiastic and passionate work force of students who will provide most of the labour but there are co-ordination costs to make sure the planting is a success. The funding will also pay for 2 years of maintenance of the plants to ensure that the young plants establish well.

We need your support

We are crowdfunding for $16,500 to plant an additional 2000 native plants and trees along 300 metres of the stream that will add to the roughly 2500 m2 already planted, resulting in 4,500m2 of restoration.

Please support this project – any donation big or small will support the waterway and the future of the students who will help to make this restoration a success.

Progress Photos: