Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Enviroschools in action

The ecological weeders line up to do a final grid search for unwanted dune weeds at Riversdale Beach. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


Ali Mackisack – Enviroschools Facilitator, Masterton

It’s been all about taking action for and in the environment this month. Tau ke! Awesome!

Getting their feet wet and their hands dirty were the team from Makoura Community Early Childhood Centre, who cleaned up a section of the Makoura Stream.

The children love to explore and feed the eels there, and they were really sad to see how much rubbish had collected after the stream flowed through Masterton.

With a few extra community helpers, they hauled many bags-full of rubbish from the stream and its banks.

Among the numerous plastic bags and beers cans, there were a few treasures discovered too – a jawbone, a heap of balls, and even a guitar with a few strings attached!

Also getting stuck in were a group of students from Whareama and Opaki Schools who took part in the coastal education and working bee, focusing on the dune system at Riversdale Beach.

The students learned more about dune systems, how they work, what lives there, how they help us and how we can help them.

They then did some “hands on” environmental action by removing ecological weeds from the dunes.

Huge piles of weeds, and bags of rubbish, showed what a difference a keen team can make to an area.

Great mahi tahi, working together, from the Riversdale Dune Committee, Department of Conservation (DOC), and the schools.

DOC community ranger Garry Foster ran a quick quiz during the sausage sizzle that followed, and the students were seen proudly wearing the Conservation Week t-shirt that they won, despite the average t-shirt size being a 3XL!

Meanwhile, staff and students at Douglas Park School have been working on the daily problem of car congestion outside the school gates.

During their Walk or Wheel to School promotion they noticed that car traffic diminished and that heaps of students were independently walking or wheeling to school – getting some exercise and reducing car emissions at the same time!

So, the Enviro Team have created some wonderful Travel Pou that will be placed in several locations near the school that will act as safe drop off/pick up points for students and parents.

The students designed the pou with pictures of how we travelled to school in the past, the present, and designed some way we may travel in the future.

That future is looking in good hands, judging by how these empowered students are taking action for their environment and communities.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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