Waterwatch Gold Schools Come to Kamarooka

On 21 October 2009 three of the most committed primary schools participating in Waterwatch in northern Victoria in 2009 visited the NUFG site at Kamarooka.The schools were from Eppalock, Bridgewater and Welton (near Torrumbarry).  

Waterwatch Gold kids at Kamarooka 

The day was a reward for kids that had consistently shown an interest in water quality, salinity, aquatic bugs and all things related. It was organised by the Waterwatch team from the North Central Catchment Management Authority: Mel Watts, Nicole Bullen, and Bianca Huider. Helping out were Phil Dyson (NCCMA Project Manager and NUFG member), Dom Uljanic (NCCMA Project Manager), Ken Wellard (Co-owner of Neangar Nurseries and NUFG member) and Ian Rankin (Chair of the NUFG and owner of Rankin Earth Moving).     

This was an opportunity to learn first hand about salinity, water above and below the ground, and how the right vegetation choice in the right places can turn a saline wasteland into a green oasis. There were stories to listen to, questions to answer, salty groundwaters to be sipped, saltbush leaves to taste, and all sorts of amazing gadgets to inspect.

NUFG Chairman Ian Rankin assumes the necessary 
protection in readiness for cooking the BBQ.  

Have you ever thought about a tree waking up in the morning and sucking water from the soil? The NUFG guys have the technology that allows them to watch this happening. 

Have you ever thought whether trees might use salty groundwater when times get tough?  The NUFG guys have gadgets that allow them to watch the groundwater fall as the trees sip the salty stuff in hard times when there is no other water.

What a  fantastic bunch of young people! Ask a question and ten hands go up. Ask for volunteer and you are swamped with kids wanting to give it a go. Ask what they have learnt from the day and you are there for half an hour. If only we could bottle this enthusiasm and feed it back over later years the world would be such a better place. 

The BBQ was a popular place after the experience of the Kamarooka Project site

Of course after such academic experiences there is hunger and the need for a little game playing. A well planned barbecue with lots of food, and a spontaneous cricket match filled that spot. 

Traditional post-lunch cricket match

Primary school kids are amazing.  Such ability to learn and such enthusiasm. Good teachers with the ability to open young minds are a big part of all of this.