Our wetland wildlife just got a whole group of new friends, thanks to the Princess Vlei Forum’s Wetland Wizards project. The project, which was run in collaboration with the Peter Clarke Art Centre, aimed to encourage local school children to discover more about the amazing life that is sustained by the wetlands at Princess Vlei.
On the afternoon of 13th March, forty school kids from Levana Primary, Harmony Primary, and Floreat Primary, gathered at Princess Vlei with binoculars, nets, sample boxes and worksheets. The learners discussed what they understood by the word habitat, and why a healthy habitat is so important for all living things. Then they went out to see what creatures they could find, and discovered water beetles, dragonflies, bees, beetles, spiders, lady birds, moths, stick insects, as well as a great variety of birds. Creatures who were caught were treated carefully, examined, and returned to their homes without being injured. Sadly they also discovered many things that don’t belong in the habitat such as old car tyres, discarded bottles and other litter.
We met again on March 22 at Steenberg Primary, this time with Steenberg Primary learners as well. This was a chance for the learners to translate what they’d discovered into beautiful artworks, guided by Liesl Hartman from the PCAC. The learners worked in groups to create dioramas showing some of the wonderful plant and animal life that makes up the Princess Vlei wetland. Each panel of the diorama showed a different part of the wetland – under the water, underground, on the water and land surface, up in reed tops and the tree canopies. Unfortunately, due to a change in the date, Floreat Primary could not join us for this.
The artworks produced showed the children’s powers of observation, as well as their remarkable creativity. These wonderful dioramas can be assembled together to form a ‘Wetland wall’. This will be displayed at our art exhibition to be held at the Grassy Park Library later this year.
Thanks to the National Lotteries Commission for providing funds, to Steenberg Primary for providing a venue, to the teachers for giving up their valuable free time, and of course to the learners for their enthusiasm, curiosity and creativity.
Below are the wonderful art works produced by the children.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.