Pupils interact with natural environment

* Left: Taryn van Neel from Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) showing off the Western Leopard Toad to Rocklands Primarys Environmental Club.

The Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) facilitated lessons at school environmental clubs to mark Outdoor Classroom Day, which is celebrated worldwide on Thursday May 18.

Outdoor classrooms were hosted at Hillwood Primary in Lavender Hill and Sid G Rule Primary in Grassy Park where pupils were encouraged to observe and interact more with their natural environment.

The aim of the outdoor lesson was to teach pupils the importance of water, with the focus on biodiversity and threats to freshwater ecosystems.

The pupils learnt about birds found in different ecosystems and how they are dependent on water for survival.

CTEET facilitators also included an “Amphibians and Reptiles” show-and-tell about where these creatures exist within our circle of life, how important they are in the food chain and interesting facts about the two species.

The pupils were able to see an endangered Western Leopard Toad and a Mash Terrapin.

Pupils took part in a greywater dripping system activity where members of the school’s eco-club brought used bath and washing machine water in two-litre bottles from home. Holes were made in the bottles and placed into the ground next to the trees.

The greywater dripping system is a project to encourage pupils to re-use water in the garden and to sustain plant life at the schools.

CTEET is encouraging such practices to help save water because Cape Town might be under Level 4 water restrictions from Thursday June 1 which would mean that there would be a ban on all use of municipal water for outside and non-essential use.

At Hillwood Primary School, the newly established environmental club consists of 30 pupils who participated in a biodiversity and water lesson. The pupils are also trying to restore their school garden.

Since starting the eco club, the members have also been involved in other projects including a recycling initiative.

Anyone able to assist the school with their gardening project can do so by donating seedlings, gardening equipment, plants and other gardening goodies.

To donate call the school on 021 701 9450. The Eco-Schools Programme is an international programme with 48 000 schools registered in 58 countries worldwide.

The aim of the programme is to encourage environmental awareness and behavioural change within schools that in turns spreads to the neighbouring communities.