On Saturday 14 May, the UC Student Volunteer Army will again be returning to the streets of Christchurch – this time to help out residents of Woolston.
Volunteers will be ‘mucking in’ across the suburb to respond to calls for help from local community groups and residents. Students will be getting involved in a variety of projects including property clean-ups, cleaning up the Heathcote River, tree planting and helping the community establish further habitats for the endangered black-billed gull. All of this will be culminating in a community lunch at Bamford School for volunteers and residents to enjoy on the day.
Driving this event is the desire of the SVA to make service a part of the student lifestyle, with the same inter-generational collaboration and community engagement seen in response to the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 remaining with the club five years on.
Alex Lim, Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism student, writes about a tree planting project carried out by the UC Student Volunteer Army, UC staff and community members as part of the Serve for NZ Anzac Day initiative.
Legacy. A century from now, most of us will no longer be here. In a millennium, only the names of the famous and infamous will remain. As we venture on our lives facing inevitable death, what legacy do we leave behind?
Teachers teach. Preachers preach. Politicians serve and lead. Many spend their entire lives hoping to leave behind a legacy. Some, like UC students, staff and community members mobilised by Student Volunteer Army, simply planted trees as part of the nationwide Serve for NZ campaign. Trees, the fruit baskets of this fragile eco-system in times of climate change, consume carbon dioxide for as long as they endure. Native trees like Matai and Kahikatea could live beyond 600 years while Totara could be around for 2000 years.
As they shovelled the soil and planted 2000 of these native seedlings at Tūhaitara Coastal Park, I wondered how many of them stopped and visualised the legacy forest they leave behind. All in a Saturday morning. Just by planting trees.