Wetlands are the Kidneys of our Earth!
From Term Four 2022, our Year 7 and 8 aakonga have been working alongside mana whenua, Curious Minds, Ecoquest, Element and Waikato Regional Council to create and launch floating wetlands. Our students first visited the local wetlands (Lake Waikare, Lakeside, Te Kauwhata) in December 2022 to view the site and understand the issues with the environment. Problems such as water pollution and habitat destruction have led to a loss of native species living there.
In the classroom, our students learned about the ecology of wetlands and the importance of wetlands to our planet’s health. We also heard from mana whenua how important the wetlands are from a Maatauranga Maaori lens and also in terms of cultural significance. From Term One 2023, our tamariki have been busy building floating wetlands from bamboo, native plants, hemp coverings and soil/compost mix. Over a number of weeks, we put together seven floating wetlands. On the last day of term, we took four of these wetlands to Lakeside and launched them into the water. These floating wetlands should help to improve water quality in Lake Waikare and form a habitat for native species. Our students can be proud of their efforts and in years to come, show their whaanau how they helped restore Lake Waikare to health.