Beach trash be­comes art

Whangarei Report - - NEWS -

Whanga¯ rei stu­dents have turned trash into trea­sure through their ef­forts to pro­tect North­land's wa­ter­ways.

Half a cu­bic me­tre of lit­ter was col­lected from the shore­lines of Matako­he­lime­stone Is­land as a part of White­bait Con­nec­tion's Drains to Har­bour (DTH) trip. The 39 chil­dren from schools across Whanga¯ rei turned the as­sort­ment of lit­ter into art­works as one of their projects last Tues­day.

Bot­tle caps, lighters, straws and cig­a­rette pack­ets make up most of the plas­tic waste lin­ing North­land shores.

The Whanga¯ rei Dis­trict Coun­cil funded pro­gramme works with 10 dif­fer­ent schools in Whanga¯ rei for a term to ed­u­cate chil­dren on the im­por­tance of pro­tect­ing our en­vi­ron­ment, par­tic­u­larly fresh wa­ter­ways.

The in­ter-schools pro­gramme in­volves five ses­sions, in­clud­ing a class­room in­tro­duc­tion to stormwa­ter pol­lu­tion sources and the equip­ment used to mea­sure pol­lu­tion lev­els.

Other ses­sions in­volve field trips to lo­cal streams, Whanga¯ rei Waste­water Treat­ment Plant and Dragon­fly Springs.

DTH co-or­di­na­tor Jor­dan Mac­don­ald said the an­nual trip to Matako­he­lime­stone Is­land was for chil­dren who are “es­pe­cially en­gaged” with the pro­gramme and are ac­tively work­ing to­wards mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the en­vi­ron­ment.

“It is an op­por­tu­nity for them to see that they can make a dif­fer­ence, pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive,” he said.

A stu­dent from Kamo Pri­mary cre­ated a pro­to­type out of card­board of a drain net to pre­vent stormwa­ter pol­lu­tion.

The pro­gramme had been run­ning since 2006 and was a “great tool to get stu­dents out into their en­vi­ron­ment”, Mac­don­ald said.

The Matakohe-lime­stone trip has been an an­nual event for the past five years since be­ing ini­ti­ated in 2013.

This year's trip in­volved a walk around the is­land, up to the pa site. A col­lec­tion of rub­bish later be­came arts and crafts as the chil­dren filled sea crea­ture tem­plates with the trash dis­posed on the shore.

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

The 39 kids from schools across Whanga¯ rei turned an as­sort­ment of lit­ter into art works.

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