Ducks Unlimited NZ

Displaying items by tag: School Projects

WetlandCare Australia launched their Wetland Discovery Programme last March, a curriculum-linked environmental teaching package for primary schools. It’s a practical and hands-on programme already proving to engage students in their local environment. 

WetlandCare Australia, with the support of the National Australia Bank, has been working for 18 months to develop the Programme with Ocean Shores Public School as their test case.

“I’ve been amazed at the enthusiasm of students, teachers, parents and the broader community. It really is a programme they can all work together on, that is what makes it unique and effective” said Cassie Price, Regional Manager for WetlandCare Australia.

The Wetland Discovery Programme includes a kit for teachers and students with tailored lessons appropriate for each stage (1-3). The kit contains material that relates directly to a wetland in their local environment. “Even if there isn’t a wetland the students can access readily, most activities can still be undertaken without that element, but it is what makes it most relevant for the students, so it’s a key feature of the Programme” said Simone Haigh, Senior Project Officer for WetlandCare Australia.

WetlandCare Australia has assisted Ocean Shores Public School to get the most out of their Wetland Discovery Programme by installing a walking trail through their local wetland, with learning stations that relate to the Programme activities. Nest boxes with cameras and microscopes that can link back to the class interactive whiteboards have also added to the innovations. 

The Wetland Discovery Teacher and Student kits are available as a free download from the WetlandCare Australia website. Those schools that want to take the Wetland Discovery Programme further than just the kit, with a trail, learning stations, nest boxes and more, are encouraged to get in touch with WetlandCare Australia for assistance in sourcing funding for additional resources.

Published in Issue 160
Featherston farmers Fraser and Margaret Donald have set aside an area of their property and made it available to Kahutara School to use for developing a wetland.

This initiative will give students the opportunity to watch first hand, as their efforts turn a swampy piece of paddock next to their school, into a thriving habitat for wetland flora and fauna.

Ducks Unlimited NZ, South Wairarapa Rotary, and Featherston’s Own Charity are all generously supporting the project.

Don Bell provided advice on conservation wetland design and methodology. He and members of South Wairarapa Rotary and Ducks Unlimited oversaw the students’ initial planting of over 700 important trees of various species.

Throughout out his tenure, Hamish McCrae, a teacher at Kahutara School, has encouraged students to help Ducks Unlimited NZ with tree planting at the very successful Wairio Wetland development. The 150 Ha wetland project is beginning to attract many of the country’s endangered species and provide them a safe haven. This initiative, coupled with Whio breeding and bittern studies is making a positive impact on endangered waterfowl species.
Published in Issue 174