Our Patch out and about water testing

The ‘Our Patch’ Environmental Education Program has kicked off for 2018 with 8 schools across the Shire of Augusta Margaret River. The new Rapids Landing Primary School is now included in the program so Tracey Muir, Nature Conservation's Education Coordinator is working with over 500 students.

Term 1 and 2 of the 2018 program comprises Year 6 students learning about catchments. Students have been introduced to the concept of water catchments through a catchment model incursion, learning about how water flows through the landscape and how land use can impact on stream water quality.

During March students were all taken out to their local waterways to learn about assessing waterway health and condition. Students undertook brief foreshore condition assessments, identifying the health of the foreshore vegetation and any environmental issues, and then learnt how to test water quality. Students collected water samples, tested for pH and turbidity and learnt about what their results meant for the health of the waterway.

Margaret River Primary School students were lucky enough to have Chris McAttee, Environmental Health Officer with the Shire of Augusta Margaret River attend their excursion to discuss environmental health water testing and the implications of high bacterial levels on recreational use of the Margaret River.

Over the coming months the Year 6 students will conduct their catchment tours travelling by bus through their local river catchments from the headwaters to the coast. They will visit a range of sites to learn about landuse, management issues and actions. Students will then present their catchment learnings in range of mediums including video and art.

Our Patch is generously supported by the Rotary Club of Margaret River, Cowaramup Lions Club, Augusta Margaret River Shire, Cullen Wines, the Commonwealth Bank Centenary Grants and participating schools.

Project Officer: Tracey Muir

Success with 'Adopt a Spot'

Complementary to ‘Our Patch’ Nature Conservation will conduct a second year of the successful “Adopt a Spot” Program for all Year 4 students across the 8 schools during 2018.

Funded by the State NRM Program 'Adopt a Spot' aims to establish long term links between schools and local bushland, foreshore or coastal areas. Connected with volunteer friends groups schools will care long term for their 'adopted spot' contributing to restoration and environmental management of these sites.

All schools have adopted a spot within their local environment and contributed to its rehabilitation. Two excursions to each site will be conducted with each school, firstly in May/June 2018 to undertake rehabilitation work such as planting and brushing and secondly in November 2018 to assess the success of their work and undertake follow weeding and clean up activities.

Before and after surveys will be undertaken with the students to assess their knowledge of the site, its issues and environmental management requirements. Signage for all adopt a spots is currently being developed and will be installed over the next month.

Project Officer: Tracey Muir