On 27 October, Environment Southland’s education team hosted the 2016 Southland Enviroschools Hui at Borland Lodge. This event is held annually to provide an opportunity for students and teachers from different Enviroschools across the region to get together to share ideas, connect with nature, have fun, and learn more about good environmental practices and sustainability.
The theme of this year’s hui was “Outdoor Adventures and Close Encounters with Nature”. 67 students and 24 adults from 17 Enviroschools joined us for the day. 24 of these students arrived the night before and enjoyed an overnight camp which included a stream walk to look for fish by torchlight and a night time bush walk.
Highlights of the event included:
- Electrofishing and fyke netting to catch and learn about small fish, eels and kokopu
- Learning about flax and how to prepare flax fibres to make items such as friendship bands
- Learning how to use a camera for close-up nature photography
- Learning how to make their own entertainment using the natural environment, e.g. how to make bouncy balls out of kelp
- A bush walk to learn about tracking tunnels, traps and the effects of animal pests
- Kayaking, rock climbing and abseiling
- Learning bush craft skills, including how to build a bivvy, do camp cooking and cross a river
Borland Lodge provided the perfect setting for an adventurous and educational programme of activities in which students experienced and learned about biodiversity, ecology, ecosystem health and good environmental practices.
The environmental education team at Environment Southland would like to thank the many individuals and organisations who contributed to the event, including: staff from Environment Southland, the Department of Conservation, Fish & Game Southland and Adventure Southland, as well as Councillor Maurice Rodway (ES), Councillor Lloyd Esler (ICC), and photography tutors Lionel Benjamin and Sophie Pennicott. We were delighted to be visited by two staff members from Southland District Council which contributes funding towards the delivery of the Enviroschools programme in Southland. Snacks for the event were generously donated by Mother Earth (Prolife Foods).