'Saving Papatuanuku One Step at a Time'
Di Morgan is the Conservation Coordinator at Richmond School and has been working closely with CAN to organise a very special exhibition. This very passionate educator is encouraging the school children she works with to become our future environmental eco-custodians and has been using the power of art to enhance their learning.
‘Saving Papatuanuku one step at a time’ is a project that has evolved as a result of Waitangi Regional Park. There the children learnt that if the Council, organisations like Forest and Bird, and many volunteers get involved then spaces can be managed to provide people and wildlife a way to co-exist.
The more opportunities children are exposed to and the younger they are, the more they are likely to stay involved. So at Richmond School, they explored the early days of Gondwana and Zealandia and the more recent history of the arrival of people. This included the wildlife they brought with them and the effects on New Zealand native wildlife.
The children’s’ interest in penguins through the Aquarium led to their involvement with the Kaitiaki team at Napier Port, where they are looking after the penguins as Napier Port expands. Their interest in the cultural aspects of Pania Reef, and how that space is also being protected, and their concern with plastics and its effect on wildlife has led to many other project areas being explored.
In all, the children of Richmond School are learning about the individual responsibility to care for New Zealand’s wildlife and environment.
“My vision is to expose as many children as possible to the concepts of shared responsibility and ourselves as kaitiaki valuing ourselves, our friends and family, our community, our land and our world.
We want them to make strong cultural connections to this land and its treasures.
We can’t expect them to protect and care for things if they have no understanding or experiences. These experiences will build up their consciousness of how precious our wildlife and how we can be a strong guardian and a strong confident voice for our planet.”
Di Morgan, Richmond School.
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