There is no better way to learn the science of the river than to be immersed in a series of river fieldtrips.
Millennium Kids worked with Wesley College Junior School teachers to design a 9 week scientists in residence program on the banks of the Swan River, exploring the past, learning about the human impacts on the river and citizen science programs to help the community engage with real science and river care.
Students visited the river each week along with scientists, citizen scientists and river stakeholders. Students took water samples, met with City of South Perth Environmental Management team and learnt about managing river and wetland health. Each fieldstrip saw the students writing down their observations, monitoring the site and developing inquiry questions and pitching ideas for river care.
The highlight of the program saw the students meet with Green Lab Ambassadors Prof Lyn Beazley and Patrick. Patrick, an avid bird watcher, painter and MK Youth Board member talked to the students about his passion for birds and the need to protect their habitats. Patrick talked about how he spends his weekends monitoring birds at his favorite bushland sites with his father and sending the data to Birdlife Australia.
Prof Lyn Beazley discussed her passion for science and the journeys it has taken her on, monitoring birds, visiting the Antarctic and using science to solve the big questions.
This is the second year of the program and the final week culminated in a sedge planting activity at Lake Douglas in Sir James Mitchell Park. Students planted 160 sedges on the banks of the lake for bird habitat.
‘ We need to make sure everyone knows we planted these sedges’ said Leroy. ‘ We don’t want the gardeners accidently cutting them down with their whipper snippers. The sedges are for the birds.’
The students at Wesley College will help Millennium Kids Wetland Warriors teams plant the site with native vegetation and monitor the plant growth over a three year period.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has funded Millennium Kids Wetland Warriors for three years, with a Community Rivercare Program grant. The Green Lab introduces a new generation of Perth citizens to help conserve the natural, cultural and social amenity values of the rivers, tributaries and urban drains within the Swan Canning Catchment.