Caring for the environment

Berridale students with a platypus.

Berridale students with a platypus.

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STUDENTS from three local schools had a great time last week learning all about bugs, river health, platypuses and the environment when Landcare and Waterwatch visited as part of Planet Ark's Schools Tree Day, Australia's largest community nature care event.

"Activities such as this are a fun and practical way for students to learn about nature firsthand and the role it plays in the health of our environment and community," explained Robin Sevenoaks, Chair of Upper Snowy Landcare.

Landcare were keen this year to get kids out and about and involved in the environment, so Landcare Coordinator Anna Rudd joined forces with Antia Brademann from Cooma Waterwatch to work with kids from some local schools.

"Anna and Antia visited Jindabyne Central, Adaminaby and Berridale Public Schools," said Robin. "They were all really keen to get be involved which was great."

The kids found out all about Platypuses - their habitat and how they live and the kids had lots of interesting facts they enjoyed sharing. "It's exciting to see how knowledgeable the kids are about native animals," explained Antia. "They were so keen to share their own stories and learn more about Platypuses and about how they need healthy rivers to thrive."

The students also did some work as "river detectives" where Antia had them on the job finding bugs in local creeks so they could determine whether the water was from a healthy or an unhealthy river. "The kids really got into it, they found lots of bugs and were so engaged".

The activities were an opportunity for the kids to discuss the local environment, and what they could do to contribute to nature and healthy rivers. They talked about the importance of not littering as well as making sure we're responsible when fishing by collecting stray fishing line or hooks, so the platypuses don't get stuck in snags.

Upper Snowy Landcare enjoys working with kids and their annual calendar is always a hit. They get local school kids to draw pictures each year and the best are selected for printing in the calendar. "These school visits will tie in well with the calendar this year as we're planning a river theme for 2015, so hopefully the kids will be even more inspired to draw some fabulous pictures for us".

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