‘The learners couldn’t stop talking about the event … they were in and out of my class wanting to talk and get pics.’
These words from Lotus Primary teacher, Priscilla de Wet, capture the excitement of the learners who attended the Princess Vlei Boats and Toads event on 29 November. The event was held in partnership with Gravity adventures, to raise awareness about and appreciation for our beautiful leopard toads.
Forty learners from Lotus and Harmony Primary attended. They were given worksheets about the leopard toad, completed and activity and answered questions about habitat, size, life cycle and threats. They then looked at photographs of a toad and modeled a clay toad based on these. This activity helped them get a real, sensory feel of how the toad looks and is shaped – particularly as the models were life size. The learners then visually decorate the ‘toad habitat’ on the bases for the toads to sit on.
While one group was busy with the toads, the others went onto the water. Gravity Adventure facilitators showed the learners how to paddle, and gave them some practice on land. They were strapped into life jackets, and off they went. A few learners had a good opportunity to study toad habitats and breeding grounds when they landed up in the reeds.
Western Leopard Toads have recently expanded their breeding grounds at Princess Vlei, and we hope that we will get more toad activity as we improve the environmental health of the area. The Forum is busy with a project with older learners to monitor toad movements at the vlei and in surrounding private gardens, and to raise awareness of the need to protect these animals. Toads are on the move, and we’d like to invite any local residents to inform us of toad sightings, or if you have heard them at night.
A huge thanks to Gravity for making their canoes, life jackets and facilitators available, and enabling the children to have such a wonderful time on the water.
Thanks also to the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust Managed by Nedbank Private Wealth for funding our conservation education programme.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.