Combining environment and reading

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Farm Cove Intermediate students enjoyed reading and learning about the Pakuranga Creek. Photo supplied

A Howick woman’s exhibition works have been displayed in Farm Cove Intermediate’s library for students to enjoy and learn from.

Local author and artist Marilyn Bakker has lived besides Pakuranga Creek for more than 50 years.

During the first lockdown is 2020, Bakker created a scrapbook and sculptures from rubbish she’d found at the creek. Pages from the scrapbook have been blown up into a series of large-scale ecology-inspired posters.

The scrapbook and posters contain documentation, observations and information about the body of water including highlighting the environmental factors that harm and affect it.

Using recycled materials and collected rubbish, photos and sketches, Bakker’s exhibition Reflections on the Pakuranga Creek, Tamaki Estuary, was a three-day event at a vacated Howick Village butcher shop that occurred earlier this year.

Now her large-scale posters are displayed in the Farm Cove Intermediate library.

Combining reading and the environment, students will have the opportunity to learn more about Pakuranga Creek and the Tamaki Estuary.

“We have a sustainability thread to our curriculum,” Lynn Dunbar, specialist science and Enviroschools lead teacher, says. “We’re also an enviroschool.”

Dunbar says her class has made a questionnaire where students must find out the answers from within the posters.

Some of these answers will be in a competition with the prizes being Bakker’s children’s books that she donated to the school.

Bakker has also created a video that documents and raises awareness of Pakuranga Creek and Tamaki Estuary, including archival footage and a run-through of her exhibition.

There is a short segment that entails the adventures of Lucky Duck, a special relationship that formed between a female duck and the Bakker household.

The video is available to schools upon request. It is available for the public to view at

For more information, email Bakker at