What a Weekend!

14 April 2014 / Posted by admin

We just came back from our first-ever professional development retreat held at the Ngarata Homestead at Totaranui for teachers from our “Adopt a Section” pilot programme schools.


This was a great opportunity to begin to build community between the DOC, Project Janszoon and school teams. Teachers also had the chance to work with and learn from experts in fresh water ecology, mammal pest control, birds, Maori history and values, curriculum integration, and monitoring and data collection – just to name a few.


The aim of the retreat was for all programme partners to connect with each other, as well as for teachers to have the opportunity to build background knowledge around teachable topics and themes in the Abel Tasman National Park. Getting hands-on with experts allowed teachers to experience new things, and gain new knowledge, that they can turn around and extend to their students.


Best of all, everyone left feeling inspired and excited about getting kids to their adopted sections and to begin what we all know will be a great journey!


Some of the feedback we received from the weekend:

  • Birds – Who lives here? Who doesn’t live here? Why or why not? That was a good, new perspective.
  • Pest mammals – library of signs built up by photos is a good idea to develop as our own school resource.
  • How about a collection of pest scats – mice/rats/rabbits, etc. More fun for a 12yo boy than a herbarium!
  • Great to know who’s who and their area of expertise. Everyone has been so friendly and encouraging.
  • Interesting to see what was living in this small, fast flowing granite-lined creek.
  • Will be interesting to do with kids. So much life in so little water.
  • It was great to see the difference in sampling from just netting. (electric fishing vs netting)
  • When are we going to do it again?!