Students Learn About Groundwater at the Green Point Urban Park
By Jessie Leverzencie and Damien Hewitt
On February 28th, the WWF Groundwater Awareness Campaign culminated in a celebratory field trip for 38 lucky learners to the Green Point Urban Park. This field trip was the cherry on the top of a longstanding educational competition and the winning students gained the chance to tour the park with Greenpop’s Facilitator and Educator, Damien Hewitt, learning about groundwater and its greater impact on ecosystems.
What is the WWF Groundwater Awareness Project?
In March 2021, Greenpop collaborated with the team from WWF South Africa to develop and implement a groundwater awareness campaign in schools. This programme forms part of the Table Mountain Water Source Partnership, funded by the Embassy of Denmark in South Africa. The programme aims to shed some much-needed light on the groundwater situation in the Western Cape. In 2018, one of the worst droughts hit the Western Cape, forcing many communities to search for alternate water sources. Many boreholes were drilled in this time to access groundwater, which is not a bottomless resource. The drought highlighted the crucial need to conserve our water sources and be more sustainable with consumer habits.
The WWF Groundwater Awareness Project aims to create and spread awareness creatively and engagingly within primary schools in Cape Town, by educating students on the importance of groundwater and aquifers. The hope is that this will have a positive impact on the environmental education practices in South African schools and ripple out into the communities as well. These aims were achieved through an awareness campaign that consisted of multimedia lesson plans, a poster competition, and an educational field trip. Primary school learners from 15 schools across Cape Town submitted posters on the topic of groundwater in the Cape.
In October 2021, the best poster was selected and the award was given to Lami-ah Solomons from Kannemeyer Primary School. Lami-ah won an educational tablet as well as a smartboard and cash prize for her school. The winning poster also served as inspiration for a billboard campaign to promote responsible groundwater use across the Western Cape which was generously sponsored by Tractor Outdoor.
The Groundwater Awareness Project came to its conclusion, with the top-performing learners of the poster competition getting the chance to learn more about groundwater and natural ecosystems, at the Green Point Urban Park.
Interactive learning at the Green Point Urban Park
The Green Point Urban Park is a natural haven much loved by Capetonians of all ages and boasts beautiful views of Signal Hill. The park provides visitors with a perfect mixture of urban and natural components in one setting.
The biodiversity gardens and wetland-walk areas within the park were the perfect settings for learners to position the topic of groundwater within the broad theme of biodiversity. It also gave learners the chance to gain a deeper appreciation for water, as the central driving component of any ecosystem. The addition of the information boards and fun facts scattered around the park allowed for an even greater educational experience for the learners. The tour was followed by a relaxing stop at Park Café for refreshments.
The participating learners who attended the field trip were among the top performers in the Poster Competition and their participation and interest in the topic were felt throughout the process and throughout the field trip. The enthusiasm from the learners is a true testament to the power of education and the opportunity to foster and grow young custodians for our planet.
Learners from the following schools were in attendance:
- Kannemeyer Primary School
- Simons Town Primary School
- Athwood Primary School
- Silukhanyo Primary School
- Jupiter Street Primary School
- Advance EduKos Foundation
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