Student Leaders Join Forces in Inter-Regional Biodiversity Learning

| By Enviroschools West Coast

Tiakina ngā manu ka o te ngahere
Look after the birds and the forest flourishes
Ka ora te ngahere, ka ora ngā manu
If the forest flourishes, the birds flourish.

Student leaders from Enviroschools in Te Tai Poutini (West Coast) and Waitaha (Canterbury) met at Arthur’s Pass for an incredible few days learning about the rich alpine biodiversity and why it is important to protect this special place.

Hokitika Primary School students ‘Who Am I’ activity.

It is a mega mast year so we approached with trepidation having heard the mouse population was growing dramatically due to the huge forest seeding providing food for our native birds and animals as well as rodents! Fortunately, due to the massive efforts of local community groups and DOC we were fortunate to hear and see kea and kiwi.

Camp attendees rotated around four main activities: predator-trapping and kea telemetry with the Arthur’s Pass Wildlife Trust; clearing invasive plant species whilst learning about local restoration projects with the Department of Conservation; Enviroschools leading a sensory trail through the magnificent beech forest; and a guided nature trail along the Arthur’s Pass walkway to learn about the unique alpine flora and fauna with Arthur’s Pass Outdoor Education Centre.

‘It was so valuable for our students to be immersed in something they are so passionate about. They returned to school with so many ideas’ – Caitlin Reid, Teacher.

Students reflected on their learning, what had inspired them, and what they want to take action on back at school and in their communities.

This was all collected on the ‘landscape of knowledge’:

Navigating the sensory trail.

“Research the local pests and predators at our school and find ways to control them”

 “Do regular weeding and share information with our town”

“Make mice traps and put around school”

“Build houses for our native birds”

“Create a sensory walk in our backyard”


–   Enviroschools thanks Katherine Williams for allowing us to publish her collection of photos.