Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest journalist, Niamh R. from Room 10. Great job, Niamh and we love your sizzling start!
As I walked towards an amazing two metre model, I heard gasps and “wows” around me. This was the first incursion Room 10 has had all year. We are super lucky to have Lauren Scanlon from Nature Conservation, showing us how we can help keep the Margaret River healthy.
Lauren told us about how farmers had handcrafted a model of a river catchment. It was built onto a trailer. We stood on the steps connected to the trailer and looked over the many different landscapes. There were farms, forests, bushland, chopped down forests, sandy ground and two lovely rivers departing into the ocean. Lauren asked us to observe and tell her what we saw. My class observed that there was a hill where the rivers started, and that the two landscapes were very different. The one river had a dense beautiful forest, but as soon as the farm started there were not many trees at all. There were fences to block the farm animals from the river. The other river started in quite the opposite of a lush dense forest – rather a chopped down forest with sandy grounds and four-wheel drive cars leaking oil. Further down the river was a farm with barely any trees, rubbish littering the floor, and a giant oil can tipped over, running into the river. Farm animals were also free ranging around the river.
She wanted to show us how the catchment worked, so to simulate rain, Lauren let two students spray water onto the beautiful, lush forest while she poured water into the river. The water ran down the first river and it gently trickled into the ocean.
For the second river, Lauren handed out food colouring and asked us to put a squirt where we thought oil or dirt would be in the river. This time when the water trickled down this river, it turned brown and dirty. Sadly, when the water reached the ocean, it turned the beautiful clear water brown and oily.
This is a reminder that polluting, deforestation and letting farm animals around rivers, all ends up in the ocean – which kills river species, especially native ones.
Our class had a blast and are so lucky and grateful to have Lauren Scanlon here at Margaret River Primary School talking to us and showing us what Nature Conservations is doing and what we can do to help keep our Margaret River healthy.
Written by Niamh R (Room 10); Photos and posted by D. Veary