Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Beach Busters: Time for kids to love our beaches

Sustainable Coastlines' mobile classroom 'Education Station'.
Photo / Supplied
Sustainable Coastlines' mobile classroom 'Education Station'. Photo / Supplied

The latest weapon in the war against litter is aimed at teaching kids how to love our beaches.

A mobile education station has been launched by the Sustainable Coastlines charity to take its message on the road.

The customised shipping container serves as a multi-purpose educational unit and has a giant screen for projecting images and for promoting beach clean-up events.

It is already a massive hit with schoolkids. "Since its first outing, we have had hundreds of school students through and have bookings coming up all over the North Island," said Sustainable Coastlines event manager Chris Cochrane.

The idea is based on the successful model created by the Life Education Trust - where schools were given an "outside of the classroom" experience that which travelled to them.

The container is also being used to educate offenders caught polluting the coasts.

"The main focus is to build pride within people for their coastline. It is about developing kaitiaki [guardians] who will look after their coastlines in years to come," Cochrane added.

From next Sunday, the container will be at Jellicoe St in Auckland's CBD for a series of free events dubbed Workshops on the Waterfront. First up are Trash to Art sessions, starting at 11am and 1pm. The initiative is aimed at 5 to 12-year-olds and their parents.

Contact chris@sustainablecoastlines.org if you would like the station to visit your school, workplace, event or Community Probation Service office. www.sustainablecoastlines.org.

Next phase

Hundreds of volunteers are expected for a big North Shore beach clean-up in Auckland on Saturday, March 31. To get involved, turn up to one of these seven locations between 9am and 1pm:

Devonport
South end of Windsor Reserve, by the public toilets

Stanley Bay
On the grass verge by the bus stop at the start of Stanley Pt Rd

Castor Bay
By the playground on the Reserve on the Esplanade

Mairangi Bay
On the grass verge next to the surf life saving club

Browns Bay
On the grass verge at the end of Anzac Rd

Long Bay
Just South of Long Bay Restaurant on the grass verge by the beach

Whangaparaoa
At the reserve on Coopers Road (western end), off Vipond Rd

Sustainable Coastlines is also looking for a core crew of helpers to man clean-up meeting points on the day. Email event director Ryley Webster on ryley@sustainablecoastlines.org for more information.

- Herald on Sunday

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