Avondale Primary School
Avondale's parks and wildlife
Room 16 looked at a local walkway which follows Oakley ( Te Auaunga ) Creek linking a number of parks, sports facilities and the large tertiary institution of Unitec.
We started our walks entering from Craddock Street which runs off the busy main road of Blockhouse Bay Road, following the course of the creek along side the even more busy four lane main road of Great North Road.
On our visits Autumn was at its full brilliance and the walkway and parks were dotted with large trees both native and exotic. It is amazing to have such a stretch of green running alongside such busy roads. It was clear from the enthusiastic response of the children walking along the treelined walkway, oohing and aahing at the waterfall and running through the sloping fields, why this area is so valued by local people who wish to preserve and protect it.
The biggest threat to this area has been plans to extend Auckland motorways and there has been big debates on how to minimise the impact of this on Oakley Creek areas. It seems almost certain now that some houses along the easten side of the walkway will be demolished in an effort to protect the wider environs of Oakley Creek.
Our first broad focus question was "Are parks important in cities?"
" Parks are important in cities because you can have a picnic and ride your bike and have fresh air." Juliana
"In parks you can lie on your back and look at the clouds and read your book. you can go to a park when you want to have time to yourself."
"Ms Greig likes to walk her dog in parks."
On our first trip we caught the bus down great North Road to the park by Unitec called Waterview Glades but which the locals call the rabbit field for obvious reasons. Our first approach was to explore the area and then decide on a focus for photographs in the next visit. On our second visit we walked along Oakley Creek walkway from Blockhouse Bay to Waterview.
Children's Photographs and Comments
About the motorway
"Its like a fight. The point Chevalier people say run it through Waterview or Avondale and the Avondale and Waterview people say run it through Point Chevalier."
"It was fun to play in the rabbit field. We didn't see any rabbits but we did see enormous rabbit holes and even rabbit droppings.Our group adult Mr Mehaffy told us that the rabbits are shot from time to time because they dig up the ground and they are pests but we think they are cute and cuddly and snuggly."
The "rabbit field group "
"Oakley Creek is a cool place to walk."
"The water is big and beautiful. It is fun to watch the warter crash. It makes us feel happy."
The "waterfall group."
This is an Autumn tree in front of the houses along Oakley Creek Reserve.
These houses will probably need to come down when the motorway is extended
"I took this picture looking high up into a punga fern/tree. "Trees 2" I like the way the light comes through the the fern branches."
"I came in close to take this picture of the shiny leaves."
This is one of the houses that has been built along the walkway. When it rains a lot of water gets really high in the creek and can go over the side of the banks and quite close to the house." House by water"