Richmond River High on the river

Year seven Richmond River High School students with councillor Vanessa Ekins, Councils catchment management officer Vanessa Tallon, Discovery Rangers and teachers.

Year seven students from Richmond River High School gave a loud, unanimous yeah! when asked if they enjoyed an educational tour of their schools namesake.L

ast Friday the 26 students canoed along the Wilsons River (a tributary of the Richmond River) for 6.8km with the National Parks and Wildlife Service Discovery Rangers, getting the low-down on the health of the river and the aquatic ecosystems at work.

Then it was back on the bus with Lismore City councillor Vanessa Ekins to find out about wetland remediation projects, floodgates, acid sulphate soil management and other uses of the flood plains.

While this scientific jargon might not sound like rivetting stuff to a 13-year-old, allowing it to be hands-on puts the fun into learning, said to Councils catchment management officer, Vanessa Tallon.

The kids really love the experience and the teachers really appreciate it, said Vanessa. Being outdoors and experiencing things for real is just a better way for them to learn about what is going on in different areas of the Richmond River.

Whilst canoeing, the students had close encounters with rainforest remnants and discussed threats to both land and aquatic ecosystems with the Discovery Rangers.

Surprisingly, this was the first time many of the students had paddled up the river, a situation that Vanessa would like to see changed.

The river is under-used and thats one of the reasons why this program was created, she said.

The Catchment Tour is a Lismore City Council education initiative funded by the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority. So far around 160 students from Lismores secondary schools have participated in the program.

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