The sun was shining on Tuesday at the Makara Catchment Stream Walk. The event, organised by the Makara Catchment Group and Pamu (Landcorp), was a great morning where 70 locals, including children from Elsthorpe School, learnt about stream health and the animals living in their waterways.
The children enjoyed pulling up nets and were delighted to find a large long fin eel which they were allowed to touch before it was carefully put back in the stream. The children used a magnifying glass to identify other animals including caddisflies, mayflies, snails and common bullies and a clarity tube was used to measure sediment in the water.
“I really enjoyed the stream walk”, said Avis Scott, age 9. “My favourite part was when we looked at the long fin eel. When we put it in the bucket, I got to touch it, it felt really slimy. Also, when we looked at the fish trap, we caught a common bully”.
Teaching tamariki about native freshwater ecosystems and engaging them in learning about stream biodiversity and how their actions can affect stream health encourages a curiosity about the natural world and can have long-lasting positive effects on their attitudes and behaviours toward the environment.
The stream health assessment was run by environmental consultant Tessa Bunny. "The kids' eyes lit up hauling in the nets and looking at small sticks to find they were moving macroinvertebrates, it was a wondrous moment”, said Tessa. “It is so important to get kids and adults connecting hands on with their awa and discovering what lives there”.
The Makara Catchment Group has just been awarded a $10,000 grant by Tukituki Land Care for a catchment stocktake to get a better picture of the current state of the catchment including environmental management challenges and opportunities. Tukituki Land Care, who attended the event, is working collaboratively across sub-catchments of the Tukitutki River to enable funding and action to benefit the region. This week they announced that they are awarding $10,000 demonstration grants to twelve Central Hawke’s Bay catchment groups.