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Little Architects

At the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the need for physiological safety, which includes having a home. This is important for us; the children of Freemans Bay School also think it is important to our insect friends. A place of safety. A place to hide. A place to thrive.

Harbour Grounds recognises the key role that insects play in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. We have bees on the roof of the Air New Zealand building and worms in our farm, helping to dispose of kitchen waste and fertilising our gardens. We even have bird houses nestled amongst our trees. So we were very happy to offer some of our prime real estate to help rehome some six- and eight-legged creatures.

The project

The bug house project was a way for the children to say thank you to Harbour Grounds, who provided an exciting Sustainability Audio Tour around the site, to learn about sea bins, worm farms, and beehives. The children, who are part of the Enviro Group at Freemans Bay School, learned a lot about environmental sustainability and were eager to put their knowledge into action. They have a deep fascination with the natural environment and the creatures that live in it.

“Bugs help the environment and also help people live on this planet. Bugs are precious,” said one.

The children recognized the important role that insects play in our ecosystem and wanted to create a space where they could live, grow, and continue to help pollinate our flora, break down plant and animal matter, and even provide nutrition to other animals.

“These precious bugs also deserve a home just like us. Many helpless bugs get eaten by birds, animals, and many more.”

The brief

The children were tasked with building bug homes, which were fit for purpose and sustainable. Working in pairs and groups of three, the children spent about an hour building each bug house. They used leftover materials from a school building project.

“The tricky part was getting the glue right! We spent a lot of time painting and decorating our bug houses too.”

The bug houses were designed to be a home for a multitude of insects. The children understand the important part insects play in nature and are passionate about preserving it. Something we also applaud.

As an Enviro School, Freemans Bay School emphasises the importance of ecology and encourages its students to play an active role in protecting the environment. The bug house project was just one example of how the school is teaching young New Zealanders about their role in the physical world around them.

When asked about the project, one student said, “we can help and preserve nature. It’s important because we know what rubbish will go in which bin and how to help the environment. We should probably preserve nature and we want the oxygen.”

The children recognize the crucial role that nature plays in our lives and understand that we all have a responsibility to take care of it.

You do not have to love bugs to build them a home

Not all children love insects.

Some did not want to touch or dig for them. The new homes created a space for the children to observe the insects without having to get too close, and many have been excited to learn more about the bugs and their role in our ecosystem.

Where are they located?

The bug houses have now been placed in the gardens in the laneway leading up to Mojo Cafe. They hope to attract a diverse range of insects, from bees to ants, so make sure you have a look next time you get cup of coffee, and check out who has made a home there.

“If there is a bug and not a worm, I’m okay if it’s a bee or an ant but if it’s a wasp or caterpillar then that would go absolutely downhill. If they eat the caterpillar, ehh, I don’t want to see them eat the cocoon,” said one student.

Biodiversity is important to Harbour Grounds, and we will continue to look at ways to foster a great environment for a wide range of wildlife. By providing a home for insects, we, and the children, are promoting biodiversity and creating a space to observe and learn more about the bugs that inhabit our world.

Bug Houses
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