The Fairfield Project is a community project, run by a committee of Fairfield community members who commit their time to the project voluntarily, recognising the benefits a project of this nature would have for the wider community.
In November 2013 with approximately 12 hectares of land surplus to requirements, the Board of Trustees at Fairfield College investigated the possibility of selling the land for a cash injection that would enable them to make significant improvements to the school. The idea was presented at a community meeting at which a counter-proposal was pitched to the Board. This proposal was a crude outline of what would ultimately become â€˜The Fairfield Project’.
If the land had been sold for development, we would have lost a significant green space in the city and consigned its cultural significance to history. The idea proposed, was to use the land to build an ecological and environmental education facility focused on sustainability, for the benefit of students of all ages. The project would look to restore the gully and the land to something of its former glory.
After further developing the proposal and many consultations with the community, Fairfield College, iwi and hapu, tertiary institutions and other potential stakeholders, the project won the approval of the school and the Ministry. While there is much yet to be done, the project is very much 'under way' and will first look to establish the community gardens, with the ultimate objective being to build the education centre. 
Students are now able to go out in the field bringing hands-on experiences to their Ecosystems study. The Kukutaruhe Gully, which borders the Fairfield College grounds, is the focus for a long term revegetation project and the students were gathering information to help them understand how people have had an impact on our natural systems. They drew gully and stream profiles, took bird counts, collected leaves and considered how the rare giant Kokopu fish in the stream has managed to survive the ecosystem changes.
The project team are very excited to get our Watershed Project underway with the delivery of our first container to the site which will become classrooms.
The project will enable us to catch and store rainwater for use in the community garden and the gully. It will also provide much-needed storage space and learning space for students.
We are hugely grateful to Fairfield Rotary Club whose support with working bees, community plantings, practical and financial help has enabled us to make the project a reality. Check out our website and Facebook page for more details.