19 March 2013
Coinciding with World Water Day and Sustainable Backyards Month in the Bay of Plenty, around 200 children from 17 schools throughout region are working together this week at a two-day Hands-on Water expo at a Paengaroa farm park.
The expo, on Thursday and Friday (21-22 March), has proved so popular that an extra day had to be added to accommodate the numbers wanting to attend. It is being hosted by Bay of Plenty Regional Council with support from Rotorua District Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, the Enviroschools Foundation, Landcare and the Department of Conservation.
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.
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.
“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.”