Exciting news from us today. Last week we piloted our new Envirocamp, which was generously supported by the Lyttelton Port Company. Year 4 students from Diamond Harbour School joined us on our quest towards healing the environment of the Harbour. The move towards an Eco-Sanctuary on our unique 420-hectare property started over 40 years ago with a number of comprehensive tree planting programmes. There has been a considerable momentum shift in recent years with the Allandale Stream restoration programme starting and then enlarging to include the “Plant a hundred Totaras” initiative and “Predator Free Allandale” concept.
An obvious next step was to get kids involved. And so the idea of an Envirocamp was born. Research shows that cognitive functioning and mood improvements occur when kids connect to nature. It builds confidence. The way that kids play in nature has a lot less structure than most types of indoor play. There are infinite ways to interact with outdoor environments, and letting a child choose how they treat nature means they have the power to control their own actions. It promotes creativity and imagination. This unstructured style of play also allows kids to interact meaningfully with their surroundings. It gets kids moving. It makes them think. Nature creates a unique sense of wonder for kids that no other environment can provide. It reduces stress and fatigue.
We teamed up with Environment Canterbury to develop a stream study and invited Diamond Harbour school to pilot this exciting new development. During the Envirocamp the Diamond Harbour School students compared areas of a stream with native plants to one without natives to see what effect the plants had on the stream. They then collected and analysed invertebrates to see how healthy the stream was. During a bush walk the learned about native plants and birds. A Living Springs camp would not be complete without some adventure. The kids were very excited to go abseiling and get wet in the adventure stream.
We can confidently say that the Envirocamp was a great success and we look forward to having many more schools learn about and enjoy nature. If you would like further information and/or to sign up your school for a camp, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.