Wild Day at the Wetland attracts large crowd

The weather ensured it truly was a Wild Day at the Wetland but not even wind and rain could stop a dedicated 150 people from turning up to Timaru’s Otipua Wetlands for a day full of activities.

The University of Otago’s Aquavan proved a huge hit, with the live touch tank garnering attention throughout the day, while at other stations, painting rocks to the shape of a long-tailed bat also proved popular.

Bird watching, tree planting, guided walks and fish facts were also among the long list of activities available on the day.

Kicking off Conservation Week in South Canterbury, multiple agencies had input on the day.

Activities were organised by Department of Conservation, Ara Polytechnic, Environment Canterbury, South Canterbury Museum, Timaru District Council, Water Watch, Timaru Rocks; and Fish & Game.

Expert lineup attracts crowd

Otipua Saltwater Creek Catchment Group facilitator Rhys Taylor said despite the drizzle for most of the day it was great to see many children amongst the crowd.

“Having so many experts and enthusiasts taking part was fantastic – you could learn a great deal from conversations at the displays.

“The marine life touch-tank from University of Otago’s Aquavan was a highlight,” he said.

The most popular activities on the day, Taylor said, was the rock decorating rocks with bat pictures, testing the harp net with toy bats (as used by DOC to safety trap live bats), going bug hunting with Philip Howe from South Canterbury Museum and bird watching with Paul Sagar.

Join the catchment group

The Wild Day supported the development of the Otipua-Saltwater Creek Catchment Group, whose next activity will be training volunteers to help in water quality monitoring.

Three enthusiastic volunteers offered help at the Wetlands day, and more are sought. Find out more about the Otipua-Saltwater Creek catchment and join the catchment group.