School program promotes healthy waterways

More than 100 students sampled bugs, planted trees and got close to the environment during the launch last month of the City of Gold Coast’s Pimpama Catchment Study Guide.

The guide is part of a school program to promote the health of the City’s waterways through education.

Mayor Tom Tate said similar guides about other catchments, such as the Coomera and Nerang River, had successfully provided teachers and students with valuable learning tools.

“The study guides have been developed by our Catchment Management Unit and provide a valuable learning tool for teachers as well as hands-on experience for students.

“Today’s launch provided teachers and students an opportunity to take part in some of the activities from the study guide.

“It was also a great pleasure to have Zac Revere, the current Junior Council Mayor, join us in what is probably one of his last engagements before the new Junior Council is sworn in this week.”

Practical activities included water bug (macro invertebrate) sampling, tree–planting in a restoration site along the river, and learning about water issues such as erosion and litter.

The students from Ormeau State School, Ormeau Woods High, Toogoolawah School, Livingstone Christian College and Pimpama State School were joined by Council’s water quality experts and aquatic environmental scientists from Gold Coast Waterwatch run by Natura Education.

Councillor Donna Gates said the Pimpama River Catchment encompassed the City’s rural and growth areas.

“The aim of the study guide is to inform and engage local primary and secondary students and their teachers, and to raise community awareness of our local catchment.
“It was fantastic fun to be part of these activities that encourage young people to take an active interest in their communities.

“This is a positive experience that may sway some of these students to pursue a career in science and nature studies, as well as to have an ongoing commitment to the protection of the Pimpama River Catchment.”

Gold Coast Junior Mayor Zac Revere said students and teachers could never have too many resources.

“This is such a fun and exciting way to learn about our environment. As a student I can relate to how important it is to have practical experience as part of your studies.”