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Urban kids get their hands dirty – SLIDESHOW

Aug 20th, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Article, News, Picture story

INNER-CITY school pupils are getting more involved in their environment at school and at home with Wellington Zoo’s new Bush Builders programme.

So far St Anne’s, Hataitai, Mount Cook, Clyde Quay and Newtown Schools have run the programme, connecting city kids with the flora and fauna in their surroundings.

“Increasingly, urban children are becoming separated from wildlife,” says Sarah Satterthwaite, learning team leader for Wellington Zoo.

“Seventy per cent of all New Zealand kids are living in an urban environment now so they’re not having a lot of the experiences that previous generations have had, getting out into the bush and seeing wildlife. And that’s an international trend.”

The program gets kids surveying the different animals found around the school grounds and their homes.

They are asked to come up with their own plans to deal with waste, protect plants and animals and clean up their environment, including recycling and composting.

“We identified places that we could contribute positively to the environment,” says Newtown School principal Rhys McKinley.

On August 15 his pupils planted their own patch of native bush at the school, with seedlings provided by Wellington City Council, and with the help of the Wellington Zoo team.

Bush Builders is currently funded by the Wellington Region Foundation and funding for next year is under negotiation.

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is a multi-media journalist and Whitireia graduate specialising in video, audio, web 2.0, technology, photography, editing and Photoshop. After graduating from Whitireia, and a brief stint in teaching for the school, he moved on to working for
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