Enviroschools Expos 2020 – Water for Life
‘Water for Life – resilient communities in a changing climate’ was the theme of this year’s Northland Regional Council Enviroschools Expo series.
Dozens of Year Four to Eight students, their whanau and teachers gathered at separate Whangārei and Kaipara expo events in November which focussed on the impacts the climate has on the region’s water resources and ways to take action to find possible solutions to local issues.
Pictured is a tuna (eel) captured near Northpower’s Wairua Hydroelectric station as part of learning about local freshwater ecology with Parawhau hapū. Students also took part in an elver transfer, where juvenile tuna are captured downstream of the power station and safely released upstream.
The Whangārei expo also saw pupils visit the Draffin dairy farm at Poroti and Whangārei’s Hopua te Nihotetea flood detention dam.
The pupils – from Hikurangi, Maromaku, Whau Valley, Karetu and Whangarei Primary Schools – learned how these industries, ecosystems and flood works are all impacted by water and the climate.
The Kaipara expo saw students from Kaiwaka and Tinopai Schools and Ruawai College participate in a variety of water-related activities at three sites, Thornton dairy farm at Maungataroto, Paparoa Lions’ walkway and Ruawai stopbanks and water filtration plant.
Collectively, the expos focussed on the impacts of droughts and flooding on ecosystems, industries and people via flood works. Our changing climate will impact on freshwater availability in Northland, and we will need to work with nature to become resilient and meet the needs of our future communities and environment.
The various activities emphasised two of the Enviroschools key concepts: that water is essential for life but can be a scarce resource and that the importance of water is reflected in culture and society.
The council introduced the annual expos more than a decade ago as a fun, exciting and hands-on learning experience. Each year a new theme builds knowledge, understanding and skills on/in the Enviroschools Kaupapa of how to live more sustainably.