THE NORTH Central Catchment Management Authority is on the lookout for passionate groups and schools keen to engage the next River Detectives recruits.
The River Detectives program is a free and fun education initiative that connects young people to nature by caring for their local waterway.
Students learn how water, land, plants, animals, people, and communities are linked through monthly water testing and schools are provided with equipment, support, training and teaching resources.
North Central CMA citizen science co-ordinator Tania MacLeod said the program is fun, healthy and a great way to learn. and can be tailored to specific learning objectives and remote schooling.
"It enables students to gain an intimate knowledge and love for their local waterway through a variety of hands-on activities, including regular water-quality testing, water-bug sampling and habitat surveys," she said.
"River Detectives aligns with the Australian curriculum framework, offering cross-curricular activities to promote understanding of waterways as integral features of a healthy ecosystem and healthy community.
"Students develop skills in monitoring and enhancing riparian habitats and are encouraged to become custodians of their local waterway."
Ms MacLeod is encouraging new schools and youth groups in our catchment to register for the 2022 River Detectives Program.
"We're especially keen to find new schools near Bendigo Creek, the Campaspe and Coliban rivers, and the Gunbower and lower Loddon River areas," she said.
"These waterways align with some key projects and priority areas over the next few years, and data collected by schools or groups will feed directly into them.
"If you're a teacher, a parent or a community member with a passion for your local waterway and environment, you're invited to get involved."
The program can be adapted to meet the needs of schools, students and facilitators and training and equipment is provided.
"What better way is there to inspire children to protect their environment than by giving them hands-on experiences," Ms MacLeod said.
To find out more about the program and how it could work in a school near you, visit riverdetectives.net.au or contact Ms MacLeod on 5448 7124.
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