Friday 5th April hosted opportunity for our students to investigate stream quality outside Whakamarama (down the hill). How clean was the stream? THE PHOTOS SAY IT ALL! Our students soon realised that their local reserve is a taonga to their community.
With the support of Tammy Bruce, Wild about New Zealand, our students are provided with the opportunity to help turn the tide for our native wildlife. Simple equipment and methods help our students to find out about the pests and native wildlife living near us. A visit to Puketoki Reserve on Tuesday 26th February was first on the list for 2019. How clean is our stream? The results gathered from the mornings investigations clearly indicated that our local reserve has a healthy stream with good water quality.
How healthy are our local streams? A question our Whakamarama School learners are always keen to find the answer to. Friday 15th February hosted opportunity for Room 1 students to work alongside Tammy (Wild About NZ) learning about where our water comes from (visual and interactive session) and healthy stream vs unhealthy stream activities.
What is a “sense of wonder to us?”
Following up from our visit to Puketoki on the 22nd March we investigated the longfin eel. Tuna (the Māori word for eels) are not only historically important to Māori, they are our taonga today. But pressure on some species is resulting in their decline. Longfin eels are considered At risk, declining.
Eel and minnow traps were set up by Wild about NZ the afternoon before. When we arrived on the 22nd we discovered a caught eel. It was carefully placed it in a large container with water so we could get a closer look. We took turns carefully touching it. We were pretty sure it was a long fin eel because it was very wrinkly and its fin was very long. We talked about how its eyes weren't very good but that it uses its amazing sense of smell to find food. We also talked about its incredible migration from Tonga all the way back to its ancestral stream without never having been there before! We discussed what would happen if there were barriers to getting back to its stream, like culverts or dams, and how we can help. Then we released it on land and it wriggle its was back to the stream similarly to how a snake would move. Next we checked the minnow trap and found a small koura. We placed it in a white tray so all could have a look. Afterwards we made koura homes from bricks and ferns and placed them in the water to check on later in the term. WE HAD LOTS OF FUN!
Would you swim in your local stream or waterway?
The Wild about NZ environmental team are gaining hands on understanding of the health of our local stream (Puketoki Reserve). Across the term, the team will be observing the human impact on the area, the stream beds, algae layers, stream shading, bank stability, water temperatures, water clarity and pH levels. Whakamarama, the future of Puketoki is in good hands!
Stacey and Tammy warmed us up on Friday 23rd February with an array of in class activities. The team are heading up to the reserve on Tuesday 27th February.
Out of all the water on Earth, saline water in oceans, seas and saline groundwater make up about 97% of it. Only 2.5–2.75% is fresh water, including 1.75–2% frozen in glaciers, ice and snow,0.5–0.75% as fresh groundwater and soil moisture, and less than 0.01% of it as surface water in lakes, swamps and rivers.
Through this scientific model, and as kaitiaki (trustee, minder,guard, custodian, guardian, caregiver, keeper) of Whakamarama, the Wild About NZ environmental team gained an understanding of caring for our surface water. Carefully the students passed a teaspoon of water around (the 0.01% of the Earth's surface water) with the aim of not dropping any (becoming polluted water). Great job team - very little water polluted!
As kaitiaki of our community resources, the Wild About NZ environmental team learned how to assess the quality of stream water. Through testing sample water from Pahoia and Puketoki, we soon realised the taonga that we had on our doorstep. Puketoki Reserve is a healthy stream with good water quality and worth protecting.
Wild About NZ Environmental Team
Wild about New Zealand is an innovative “hands-on” biodiversity investigation and action programme that provides schools and community volunteers within the Bay of Plenty the chance to help turn the tide for our native wildlife.
Check out the Wild About NZ Blog: