Children get hands-on with water
Monday, 18 March 2013 10:13 a.m.
About 200 children from 17 schools throughout the Bay of Plenty are working together this week at a two day Hands On Water expo at a Paengaroa farm park.
The expo, to be held on Thursday and Friday, has proved so popular that an extra day has had to be added to accommodate the numbers wanting to attend. It is hosted by Bay of Plenty Regional Council, with support from the Enviroschools Foundation, Tauranga City Council, Rotorua District Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Landcare and the Department of Conservation.
Regional Council Environmental management General Manager Eddie Grogan said the aim of the expo was to raise awareness with students and their teachers about water issues and give them some practical skills they could use in their own community. The day coincides with World Water Day, and Sustainable Backyards month in the region.
"We want to involve children in meaningful activities that will help them to look after their own water ways. It also gives them an opportunity to meet the different water related agencies so they know where to go to ask about water issues," he said.
"Water is a significant issue at present for central and local government, and the various agencies are working together to showcase local government collaboration on common issues. Particularly in view of our recent drought, it's important that children understand how we manage water."
The various activities will explore water quality, allocation, stormwater, catchment protection, cultural health and native fish. They cover aspects of riparian protection planting, pollution prevention, water allocation and catchment management and water monitoring.
Children will be designing fencing and planting to protect waterways, identifying insects as a measure of water quality, getting up close with live eels plus other activities.