Pupils' wetlands knowledge whetted

Gorge Road School pupils Malia Cassidy, 9, left, and Rhon Maza, 8, prepare to walk the Waituna Track in celebration of World Wetlands Day.
Gorge Road School pupils Malia Cassidy, 9, left, and Rhon Maza, 8, prepare to walk the Waituna Track in celebration of World Wetlands Day.

The importance of wetlands to human and ecosystem health will not be lost on the next generation.

Gorge Road School pupils visited the Waituna Lagoon yesterday to celebrate World Wetlands Day.

Waituna Landcare Group chairwoman Gay Munro said the purpose of the day was to highlight the impact wetlands had on the surrounding environment and ecosystem as well as showcasing the new interpretation panels installed on the walkway last year.

This was the only celebration recognising the day in Southland that she knew of, she said.

World Wetlands Day is held on February 2 every year to celebrate the 1971 adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

The day was celebrated yesterday to allow the schoolchildren to take part.

The 2014 theme was wetlands and agriculture and the slogan was: "Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth" to link to the International Year of Family Farming.

The Waituna Landcare Group had been working closely with the school in preparation for the day, she said. "It's right in their backyard.

"A lot of the kids do visit with their families so they already know how important it is."

The pupils also visited the Southland Community Nursery and Nature Centre, where they discussed the value of wetlands and plantings.

The Southland Times