With a developing wetland on their doorstep, why wouldn't pupils from Paengaroa School use it as a learning resource.
As part of the school's team-up with Maketū Ongatoro Wetland Society, students last week visited a newly created wetland area beside the Kaituna River.
A 22-hectare wetland has been created in just three months. It's the first stage of the Te Pourepo o Kaituna wetland project that will see a total of 70 hectares of wetland re-created at the site by 2023.
Students found and learned about some of the invertebrates in the wetland and the Kaituna River, discovered ways of testing water quality and visibility, planted native plants and had a guided tour of part of the wetland.
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Teacher Gill Saunders says staff and students feel very privileged to have worked with the team from Maketū Ongatoro Wetland Society for the last six years.
''Each term, we investigate a different ecosystem and each study links to the curriculum areas of social sciences (conservation), science, technology, maths and statistics,'' she says.
''Our recent field trip to the new wetlands allowed students to see how the former farmland is being reclaimed and turned into an area that will filter and clean water before it enters the sea, while also creating a freshwater ecosystem.''
As well as learning to conduct tests on water clarity and quality, and identifying and measuring numbers of invertebrates and freshwater fish, students were involved in the planting of native plants, including kahikatea trees.
''We learned how these plants will improve the quality of the water and, consequently, make ideal habitats for native fauna.''
Stage one works have focused on 22 hectares of that Māori-owned block known as Tumu Kawa.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council is leading and funding the project which has been made possible through a land purchasing partnership by two local iwi. Tapuika and Ngati Whakaue banded together to buy 28 hectares of crown-owned land beside the Kaituna River last year, and they have now made a significant portion of it available for regional council to restore as wetland.