‘Bugman’ thrills Katikati audience
Kindy kids to adults enjoy hearing scientist talk
Katikati is a gorgeous little town. People in Katikati are connected — they get it about Mother Earth. Ruud Kleinpaste
The Bug Man, aka Ruud Kleinpaste— came, he saw, he conquered and left Katikati feeling well satisfied. “Katikati is a gorgeous little town. “People in Katikati are connected — they get it about Mother Earth. It was great.”
Over700 people had the opportunity to ‘Bug Around with Ruud’ and be inspired by Ruud Kleinpaste last Friday after being invited by Katikati Taiao’s Anne Billing and supported by a Kings Seeds, Katch Katikati and the Tauranga Garden and Art Festival.
Itwas an action-packed day that saw Ruud sharing his knowledge at Katikati Kindergarten, Katikati Primary School and Katikati College. The students at all three venues were captivated.
“As an Enviro Kindergarten we value learning about the preservation of our ecosystem and fostering curiosity in young children.
“Ruud wasso interesting and our children and wha¯nau were mesmerised by his amusing and interactive mat time,” the teachers said.
His presentation at the college was themed Humans on Earth and explored how as human populations grow and grow, biodiversity “goes downthe gurgler”. He explored how humans fit (and don’t), what we can learn from bugs, the amazing services that bugs perform for our planet, and perform free of charge. He talked about sustainability and why humans need to do better than that and actually contribute to our ecosystem. Innovative Horticulture manager Hilary Johnson said50011-15-yearolds were silently entranced throughout the entire presentation apart from laughter at Ruud’s humour, which included some very clever impersonations.
“Itwas an absolute privilege to see a knowledgeable scientist engage the students through skilful storytelling from the heart. He would have made a great teacher!”
Science teacher Anderley Middleton said ,“How fantastic that mosquito larva cleanup water by eating algae . . . and cockroaches clean up our kitchens . . . and that they do so as free slave labour!
“I love how Ruud sees insects in the positive role of helping us fix upthe current global warming fiasco we humans have created.”
Deb Holmes, Year 7 and8 home room teacher, enjoyed learning about biomimicry.
“Itwas both interesting and inspiring to hear bugs are being studied in order to inspire design solutions to problems we face today.”
Ashleigh Oliver from Katikati Primary said the children really enjoyed hearing Ruud’s stories about his travels.
“The things he spoke about were really relevant for our children and they were able to grow their understanding of how their environment works around them.”
Twenty people joined Ruud on a garden ramble of Jizzy Green’s highly productive food producing garden in Park Rd and the vege garden at Katikati College.
Toni Millar was on the garden ramble and went to the evening event. “I felt so lucky to be there to share in Rudd’s knowledge. He presents very important messages about the environment in such a hugely humorous way.”
In the evening Ruud’s talk on ‘How to murder your veges more slowly’ was very informative about the good guys and the “not so” good guys in the garden. Some 80 people were entertained and educated by the Bug Man’s humorous style of presenting very important information.
Rudd said doing something like Anne had organised was fun. “Anne is already a kindred spirit— it’s like playing a home game.”
He commented at his evening event how “people have got it, they know what we need to do with the planet”.
Organiser Anne Billing thanks Rudd and all those involved. The event will help raise funds for Grow on Katikati, a project to grow vegetable seedlings and generate a move towards food security in
Economic growth at all cost is not the way forward. We need to look after mother earth,” says BugMan Ruud Kleinpaste. Ruud loves nature, ecology and invertebrates so much that he goes out of his way to find little bits of paradise all over the world, while constantly striving to change people’s perceptions about the small things in life that matter so much to our world.“My strategy is is to infiltrate education, and Ido this shamelessly. Ido this by creating nature-literate teachers.”
Ruud says his big focus these days is teaching teachers to teach outside. “I do that for the whole curriculum.
“It’s not about looking for bugs, it’s doing dance, music, maths outside calculating the number of flax seeds outside.
“The big picture is to get a reconnection going with nature.”
After a full day visiting Katikati, he certainly made his mark and was an inspiration to many from all age groups.
Here is a photo summary of Ruud’s visit.