Welcome to the first Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne Learning E-News of 2022. We hope the year has greeted you with success and that any hurdles still to come are navigated successfully.
In this edition we confirm changes to the vaccine pass system for visits to Zealandia; ask for your ideas and thoughts on engaging digitally with Zealandia (a short, 5 question survey with a prize!); showcase the New Zealand Association of Environmental Education and how it can support your teaching; get you in the academic research space with articles on incorporating EOTC visits into your teaching and connecting with nature; and jump into the freshwater realm at Zealandia.
The Learning Team wishes you every success in 2022. Feel free to get in touch at any time to discuss your requirements. As always, we completely appreciate the ever-changing dynamics of the current environment and can work with you to create an experience that is flexible, adaptive and responsive.
We have plenty of availability across the remainder of the year to welcome you to the sanctuary, visit you at your place or to 'beam' in online.
You can get in touch with us via email or phone (04) 920 9204. Ngā mihi nui
Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne Learning Team
Changes to Vaccine Pass system
Following recent changes to vaccine pass requirements, from April 5, vaccine passes have no longer been required for students or accompanying adults and teachers to participate in the learning programme, or to enter, Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne.
We would like to thank all visiting education groups who have worked with us over recent months to adapt and evolve to the changing requirements of the vaccine pass system. Please note that general visitors to the sanctuary are also no longer required to provide a vaccine pass upon entry.
Digital learning with Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne
Would you be interested in digital learning opportunities with Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne?
As Zealandia seeks to grow its reach, connecting more people with nature and conservation, we are investigating what a digital learning offer for schools and ECE might look like. To ensure what we offer is what you want, and need, we have put together a very short, 5 question, survey to gather some of your thoughts and ideas.
The link to the survey is here. We have a $30.00 Prezzy Card to give away for one lucky person who participates in the survey!
NZAEE promotes and supports lifelong learning and encourages behaviours that lead to sustainability for Aotearoa. They are an independent voice for environmental education, empowering people to respect and nurture the environment, recognising its link with the social, cultural and economic aspects of sustainability.
Wellington Region Environmental Education Forum (WREEF) is a group of environment education providers and teachers working together to ensure students in Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui access high quality Environmental Education for Sustainability. WREEF hosts biannual meetings, creates working groups on priority areas, communicates across the sector creating collaboration, knowledge sharing and community. You can join them on Facebook here.
Looking at the evidence
Finding ways to articulate the benefit of education outside the classroom and connecting with nature can sometimes be difficult. There is a growing body of research, both undertaken already and currently underway, showing how leaving the classroom and heading outside, has positive benefits for learning and for personal development.
The following articles explore these ideas from the practical to the theoretical.
Nearly a year ago, Zealandia removed exotic perch from the lower reservoir, Roto Kawau, and the stream. A recent late-night investigation of Te Māhanga Stream found no exotic perch, but we still have a way to go to re-establish this native water ecosystem.
Wearing waders and using red light torches, rangers from the Department of Conservation and Zealandia ventured into the awa/stream after dark to check on its native species recovery.
The great news is there was no perch to be seen.
The rangers did find a total of 10 banded kōkopu (native fish species) and one tuna/eel. Native aquatic creatures like these were moved to the upper reservoir, Roto Māhanga, during the perch removal operation, and then moved back into the awa last winter. The heavy rain in mid-February washed the stream out, reducing the number of nooks and crannies where kōkopu love to hide out. So, while they are slowly re-establishing, there is still a way to go. Over time, the awa will naturally become a more complex habitat as trees, branches, leaves and debris fall in and create more pools and eddies which will help the fish population establish.
While manu/birds and reptiles seem to get most of the attention at Zealandia, our vision is to return the sanctuary as close as possible to its pre-human state. This includes all aspects of the ecosystem, including the freshwater.
You can make a difference
Omicron continues to sweep the country and many people are finding themselves spending more time at home. Visitation to Zealandia is low, and we need your help. If you have not made a donation to our fundraising appeal, it's not too late! We still need your generous support. Making a donation online is easy, and we also accept bank transfers or over-the-phone transactions.