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Toodyay’s Avon Waterways project

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The Toodyay workshop was the second of our two school workshops in May as part of our Avon Waterways project. The project is supported by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and the National Landcare Program.

The purpose of the workshops is to provide an educational experience around the management of waterways in the Avon River Basin. The project speaks to year 2 and 3 children and incorporates a range of activities and information. Our own Dim Boggs was joined by 20 students, two staff from Toodyay District High School, six volunteer parent helpers and two local guest speakers from EcoAction to deliver a day of education and experience.

The day started with a Welcome to Country and an Aboriginal perspective on the history of the Avon River from Sharmaine and Robert Miles (this was served with a side of damper!). Robyn Taylor, from the Toodyay Friends of the River provided a European background and introduced everyone to the impacts of the River Training Scheme.

A trip to the River

Our group then walked down to Duidgee Park where the facilitators from EcoAction showed us how to do a macroinvertebrate survey. We talked about water quality and river management. They recorded 13 species of macroinvertebrate plus one species of feral fish (gambusia). Our group also learnt how to use a salinity probe.

Getting hands on in the classroom

We then made our way back to the classroom for the afternoon where we used our “Augmented Reality Sandbox” to explore themes within the waterways, including how run-off moves through the catchment. Students also had the opportunity for a hands on invertebrate experience, handling insect brought in by the EcoAction to demonstrate the importance of these invertebrates in the web of life.

Preparing for EnviroStories

Finally, the students were treated to an art lesson where they drew macroinvertebrates in preparation for writing their own EnviroStory (part of our EnviroStories program). Based on the new knowledge that they gained during the day, stories will be published and made available to the school.

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