Annual activities: • Wild Games in the West (quarterly holiday programs) • World Wetlands Day • Wimmera Machinery Field Days • Horsham Wetlands Walk for Art is… Festival • World Water Day • Saltwatch • WWVic QA/QC • Annual town shows • WCMA Kids Conference • National Water Week/Spring Macro Activities • School and community monitoring and sessions • eg monitoring, guided walks, catchment tours Monitoring, recording and interpretation at Yaapeet PS and guided walk at Warracknabeal PS
Annual activities: • Catchment Tours Goroke College Grades 5-6 students at Lake Ratzcastle as part of their local catchment tour
Annual activities: Stormwater Education Stormwater guided walks: gutter surveys, caring for the environment, erosion-transportation- deposition, local water cycles, and plant life.
Annual activities: Kids Conference Kaniva College (left) Edenhope College (below) St Mary’s Primary School: Water for Life – Rights and Responsibilities linked to T1,T2 and T3 WCW sessions
Annual activities: • Wild Games in the West A Western Wimmera school holiday program: environmentally based games and activities presented by NRM staff at different towns.
Annual activities: Guided Creek Walks Yarriambiack Creek Warracknabeal: Beulah /Altona North PS visit (left) St Mary’s Primary School : web of water life in a dry creek bed (below) Warracknabeal PS (below left)
Annual activities: • Aquatic Macro-invertebrate studies
Annual activities: • Web of Water Life Simulations Used with many lower catchment schools from mid primary to lower secondary. Modified to represent species found in water surveys locally.
New activities: • In schools and the community • Waterwatch Australia Conference workshops : Brad (with WWVic -data), Harvey (with Mallee WC - WW in dry lands) and Jeanie (simulations) ; and static presentation of Networking in the Wimmera • About 40 water quality monitoring kits to community and school monitors • WCMA Green Schools program at Rupanyup, Rainbow, Edenhope • WCMA Kids Conference workshops: Harvey Catchment Puzzle, and Jeanie River Red Gum Walk • Clarrie the Catfish water education page monthly in Regional newspaper • Halls Gap Wild Flower Show • fishing habitat and identification education sessions • Upper Catchment evaporation/condensation/transpiration with plants/ water cycle model • increase in Horsham schools monitoring and using wetlands for water life • Water for life: 3 lower catchment schools linked for World Water Day and Saltwatch • St Mary’s PS Prep- Year 1 book of water creature drawings after water web simulation in dry creek • Advance Program with the Warracknabeal Special Developmental School • Rainbow Country Hour community celebration • Jeparit Waterwatch 10 years of continuous monitoring community celebration • Rainbow SC VCE Ag/Hort weekly monitoring of farm water project • Stormwater Education Programs at Nhill, Edenhope, Kaniva, Yaapeet, and St Marys PS
New activities: Encouraging drawings in younger children Water creatures by Prep Y1 St Mary’s PS (Warracknabeal) turned into a class book
New activities: • Greater use of Horsham Weir Pool and Wetlands Many sessions eg Horsham College year 9’s in November l(eft) Horsham Coll in March (below) St Michael’s and St John’s PS July (below Left)
New activities: • Greater use of Horsham Weir Pool and Wetlands Horsham Lutheran Primary School Environmental Club
New activities: Observing Damsel flies – at Horsham, Warracknabeal and Beulah Leigh out with Horsham College Year 9’s macro session: When one of their days turned hot, students had the bonus of witnessing a mass of damselflies and dragonflies mating! It was a rare chance to observe size, shape and colour differences between genders and species. Some female damselflies were dropping their eggs off in the water while grasping (or being grasped, no one was quite sure) by their mate. Students were so interested in this wonder of nature, that Leigh was sure they all went away with a greater appreciation of a healthy ecosystem Jeanie out with WSDS Advance Group for final monitoring session at Apex Park: Well camouflaged damselfly nymphs were also out enjoying the sunshine and a thick carpet of milfoil. There was great excitement for those who learned how to identify them in the plants. The link between abundant damselfly nymphs found in their aquatic macro-invertebrate surveys here some weeks earlier, and these adult flies was easy to understand. Photos from J. Clark private collection
New activities: Plants and the Water Cycle Model Developed by Leigh, To make a big model of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation over a few weeks. used at a number of schools eg Rupanyup PS
New activities: Fishing Habitat and Identification Model Developed by Leigh, used at a number of schools eg Netherby PS during Environmental Awareness Day
New activities: • World Water Day – Saltwatch link Same Activities for 3 schools: What do you use water for? Drawings shared (right) Where does our water come from? How much water do we have? How good is the water we have? (below) A plan to use your water better? St Peters PS (Dimboola)
New activities: • World Water Day – Saltwatch link Activities: What do you use water for? Beulah PS added then needs of a water bird needs based on Masked Lapwing observed in T4 2004. (below left) A plan to use your water better? Poster drawings (below)
New activities: • World Water Day – Saltwatch link St Mary’s PS (Warracknabeal) Saltwatch (this page) Added another link in T3 with Rights and Responsibilities for Water Play
New activities: New monitors From all across the catchment
New activities: • Rainbow SC VCE Ag/Hort Farm Water Monitoring Weekly monitoring in Sem 2
New activities: Jeparit Waterwatch 10th Anniversary Celebrations Museum monthly monitors - of which two have been 10 year monitors (top left) All participants gave short talks covering all aspects of Jeparit Waterwatch (below) Celebrations lunch (below left)
New activities: Jeparit Back to Anniversary Weekend Displays Jeparit PS prepared new displays to show how their salinity levels have changed over 10 years and between the seasons – displayed at the local show, for the back to and now on permanent display in a shop window in the main street with the intention to update regularly in 2006 and add other river display materials.
New activities: Recognising long service participants Certificate presentations linked WWVic, Wimmera CMA, local shires to schools and community members who had participated for: 10 years (5) eg Jeparit PS to left 5 years (35) eg anticlockwise from left: Apsley PS, Beulah PS, Dimboola MSC, and farm/river monitors from Antwerp and Lower Norton.
New activities: Using the trailer in many ways Anticlockwise from left: Halls Gap Wild Flower Festival, World Wetlands Day, Jeparit Waterwatch 10th anniversary, Rainbow Country Hour Street Party, upper catchment stormwater education, Jeparit ‘Back to’ Parade.
New activities: WCMA Green Schools Program Taking environmental sessions to 4 schools for a morning to encourage greater participation in the future Held on school grounds (below) eg Waterwatch water web of life for Pacific Black Duck (left)
New activities: Clarrie the Catfish monthly regional newspaper water education page in the Wimmera Mail Times
Advancea state government secondary education programGoal :to enable young people’s participation and volunteering in community life through activities that promote: personal development; skills and community links
Warracknabeal Special Developmental School has taken on the Advance program in 2005, with Wimmera Community Waterwatch as the primary community support, for learning about and caring for our creek.
The Advance program enables young people12 students from Groups 2 and 3 at the WSDSto do something withtheir community * learn about the creek, * learn monitoring, interpretation and reporting skills* practical care for the creekat the Apex Park site, with its sediment trap, on the Yarriambiack Creek, Warracknabeal
Advance links schools in partnership with a community organisation(s)such as Warracknabeal Special Developmental School with*Wimmera Community Waterwatch, with support from: * Wimmera Catchment Management Authority * Yarriambiack Shire * Yarriambiack Landcare * Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) * Warracknabeal Yarriambiack Creek Development Committee The Advance program involves choices by young people, such as * training in skills to their ability level* caring activities for the creek* reporting
WIDTH and DEPTH It’s easy when its shallow! WSDS Advance group found that the creek was widest (8 m) and deepest (45 cm) in late August, with the winter rain. The creek dried out in mid May.
WATER LIFE little things living in the water The WSDS Advance group found 9 species of aquatic macro-invertebrates living in the milfoil plants in the creek on 7/9/05: Lots of tiny water fleas, water mites, and pond snails, Some aquatic weevils, boatmen, segmented worms, and a few caddisfly nymphs, other fly nymphs. Tadpoles and Pacific Black Ducks were also in the milfoil.
“The Pacific Black Duckis lucky because it gets to eat all the creatures we found and identified.” Dean
DATA The Advance group tests water and the data becomes part of regional data gathered for the Yarriambiack Creek.
TURBIDITY How clear the water is WSDS Advance group found that the creek water is mostly murky, but that the plants help to clear it.
HARDNESS=how soft or hard the water isor how well it makes bubbles! WSDS Advance group found that the creek water is soft, from its source as rainwater off the streets.
WEED and SEED pulling up the garden escapee Gazaniaand planting the native Wallaby Grass An Arbour Week activity, involving WSDS, WCW and YSC Landcare Officer Ietsyn Hosking. Six teams of three students dug out about 400 Gazanias, invading the Wallaby Grassland under the River Red Gum Trees. Plants were bagged and disposed off site.. Only those beneath the bee’s tree were left!
WCW/Warracknabeal SDS Advance Group Teacher Reference Sheet by J. Clark, WCW lower Catchment coordinator WEED and SEED afternoon We will WEED GAZANIA and plant local WALLABY GRASS SEED • Tough dryland grass of South East Australia • Losing ground to the Gazania • Native of our creek reserve • Has: • Tiny mauve and/or cream grain seed flowers in spring • Soft light V or 3 pronged seeds carried by wind • Narrow spiky leaves • Bright green fading to cream leaves over time • a clump form • Strong root systems • Needs to grow: • Some rain in winter • Lots of sun to ripen flowers in spring • Tough enough to survive: • Drought • Salty soil • Tough dryland daisy plant of Africa • Escapee of Wimmera gardens • Gaining ground from native plants • Non-native of our creek reserve • Has: • Large bright flowers in spring • Soft light feathery seeds carried by wind • Wide long leaves • Dark green top side of leaves • Silver green under side of leaves • a clump form • Strong thick root systems • Needs to grow: • Some rain in winter • Lots of sun to open flowers in spring • Tough enough to survive: • Drought • Salty soil J. Clark, Wimmera Community Waterwatch Lower Catchment Coordinator. teacher ref sheet for WSDS “Weed and Seed” Yarrik Ck Arbor Week. 2005 J. Clark, Wimmera Community Waterwatch Lower Catchment Coordinator. teacher ref sheet for WSDS “Weed and Seed” Yarrik Ck Arbor Week. 2005
TREE PLANTING In Spring, Warracknabeal SDS Advance group planted • 6 River Red Gums • and 6 Black Boxes
CATCHMENT MODEL Warracknabeal SDS Advance group created a sand pit model of the Wimmera Catchment in preparation for their field trip upstream from Warracknabeal.
CATCHMENT TOUR • Warracknabeal SDS Advance tour went to the sources of the: • Yarriambiack Ck (distributary in flat cropping land) and • the Wimmera River (tributary in forested hilly land).
VALUES and ATTITUDES Background: In April someone sprayed and mowed all the plants at the WSDS creek site. Then it dried up and smelt bad. The students monitored its recovery. Here it is in November. Student answers to What did you most enjoy learning ? • Mez - how to test water • Sharna – how to test with chemicals and what water testing readings mean • Thomas – wildlife at the creek • Tara – frogs and tadpoles • Dean – birds and listening to bird song • Joel – planting and weed and seed day • Scott – how trees grow and how to plant them • Michael – seeing the stormwater drain fill and gushing over the rock wall • Pat- being out at the creek • Nikita–the trip to Longerenong and Elmhurst • Mark – Creek became healthier over 8 months (after it was sprayed, mowed and dried out) • Ellie – doing something to help the creek
VALUES and ATTITUDES Background: The WSDS Advance group comprised 13 students, 4 support teachers, and one Waterwatch coordinator, supported by others from the community and agencies. Despite a huge range of general and communication abilities in this group, each individual learnt to care more about the environment and express their opinions of its values. Teacher answers to What did you most enjoy learning ? Marilyn – amazed by the wildlife at the creek Lynne – the amount of animals at this creek site, below the bridge only driven over before Wendy – enjoyed the opportunity to learn the tests Jeanie – heaps of damselfly nypmhs out this spring, and the ability of each individual student to tune into and think about this environment. We were all pleasantly surprised by the attention that students develop in their observations of this and other environments as a result of this program. I would strongly recommend the Advance program to other Waterwatch programs. J.Clark.
New activities: • administrative • Team now each has the same digital cameras and computing equipment • Projects: Story Books, Wimmera Specific Identification Sheets • WWVic Database upgrade and WCW monthly reporting database implemented • Staff • Waterwatch in the Wimmera became 10 years old in January 2005 • long service of WCW staff: • Pat completed 10 years service in October 2004 • Jeanie completed 10 years service in January 2005, • Harvey completed 8 years of service in December 2005 • Recognition of Pat’s 10 years service at WW Aust Conference and • at Wimmera CMA board meeting. • Leigh employed as fourth local Waterwatch facilitator in March 2005 • Resignations: • Pat resigned in August. • Brad resigned in October, returned to Berri, SA .
Proposed new for 2006 : • In schools and the community • Launch of the Identification sheets and of the Story Books • East – West School exchange • Stormwater Education focus on drain stencilling in Horsham and other centres • Rollout of more monitoring kits • Jeparit PS/WW shop window display • Administrative • Staff • Waterwatch in the Wimmera in its 12 th year! • Leigh to work in Upper Catchment • New middle catchment facilitator to begin in January • New regional coordinator to begin as early as possible in 2006
A program of the Wimmera CMA gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors : And of its participant community members and schools. West Wimmera Shire Council