School Adopts Wetland for Science Exploration

Monday 7 September 2009, 6:27PM
By New Plymouth District Council


Fitzroy’s new wetland was created to help manage stormwater runoff from nearby streets – but it’s also helping students understand environmental science.

St John Bosco School has taken the Peringa Park wetland under its wing as part of the students’ science curriculum.

Principal Marie Barrett says the students will take a hands-on approach to the wetland’s development and maintenance, and learn about the role of wetlands within the wider environment.

“I want them to learn about sustainability, and to teach them about all the elements of our environment through watching and understanding what’s happening in the wetland,” says Mrs Barrett.

“There’s such a lot of science involved in how a wetland works, and how this wetland helps all of Fitzroy.”

The wetland acts as a natural filter, trapping sediment and other materials in stormwater before the water reaches Lake Rotomanu.

A large public planting took place at the wetland last weekend, and tomorrow (Tuesday) St John Bosco students along with Paitaki Lions Club members will put more plants into the wetland.

Manager Parks Mark Bruhn says the wetland’s development is continuing.

“We plan to have an interpretation board at the wetland’s lookout, from where people can see the entire ecosystem – the wetland, the lake and the sea – and consider how they tie in,” he says.

“Other work includes installing a gully trap to collect the larger rubbish that comes with stormwater, such as plastic bottles.

“But overall the wetland is taking shape well, and it’s a great example for the school students about how a stormwater system can recreate a natural environment to benefit the community.”