Due to the work of our diligent NEST group, (Nayland Environment and Sustainability Team,) the school has received a $1100 grant to aid in preserving Poorman Valley Stream.The grant, which has been supplied by Enviroschools and the Nelson City Council, will be used by the NEST group to continue testing the water in the stream and other environmental initiatives.
Glenis Paul, the teacher liaison who oversees the student-led group, applied for the grant on behalf of the students as a way to help fulfill Nayland’s duty as ‘guardians’ of Poorman Valley Stream, which runs down the side of the school.
The NEST (Nayland Environmental and Sustainability Team) students are looking at installing a catchment system outside a storm water drain that flows into the stream. This will catch litter and rubbish that might otherwise be washed into it.
Money is also going towards getting better equipment for testing the water of the stream, allowing more accurate measurements of the nitrate and oxygen levels, something the NEST students do monthly.
“The data that is collected every month goes into the Nelson City Council Website and is part of their fresh water analysis, and we’ve got years of data. It’s really good,” Ms Paul said. “They’ve noticed that the volume of water has gone down – someone is taking water further upstream. That information went through to the council and they can then go through and investigate.”
A member of the group, Year 11 student Taea Staples, said some of the money would also be used to make the community a bit more aware of how their actions impact the environment.
“We want to get fish images and put them by drains to raise awareness of where the water is going and how it is going into our oceans and streams,” Taea said. It is hoped people will then think about what they are washing down storm water drains.
The NEST group has been running for many years now, allowing students to get directly involved in environmental initiatives around the school.
Another member of NEST, Year 11 student Jasmine Wayman, felt the group served an important purpose in the school. “It raises awareness for the environment and sustainability around Nayland College and helps our students to be aware of how their actions affect the planet,” Jasmine said. “I’ve learnt a lot about how I can make a change in the school.”
By Duncan McKinlay