If you look closely at the featured image, you may be able to spot some of the tiny stream creatures we captured
On the 10th of May, you might have seen a group of around thirty students in mufti, trudging around in splatters of mud and gumboots. Yes, that’s right – they were Rutherford’s proud Enviro Committee! Project Twin Streams, which aims to improve water quality for Waitakere streams, had come down to help our committee members plant trees and test the Pixie Stream’s water quality. So, through damp grass (thankfully it had stopped raining by then) and murky pathways, our dedicated bunch trotted down to the stream at around period 4, and met several representatives from the project’s team.
We then split off into two groups: one to test water and another to plant trees. We planted quite a lot of trees – around 270!! It was quite challenging getting the flax and vines out of their bags, some had totally grown to its small cups, some had vines creeping underneath the cups! We had definitely needed to plant those bustling little saplings, and we did so with rapid speed! It was quite difficult getting them out of the bags though. A few of us got real muddy but we were still hyped up getting them out, and down through our dug-up holes in the mud.
Not only do these trees provide fresh oxygen around the area, these trees act like shade over our Pixie Stream, which cools the stream. Effectively, that means we have more control over the stream’s temperature! A more stable temperature means that more of our sensitive creatures can survive in our stream.
Water testing consisted of several things. One of them was observing the waters at a closer look; Project Twin Streams had put up a net in the stream overnight, and had pulled it up that particular afternoon so we could observe the life that resided within our precious Pixie Stream water. What was so useful about observing the waterlife? A not-so-obvious reason, as Bridget from the project pointed out, was that if we found a creature in our stream that could only survive in extremely healthy water conditions, it meant that our stream must be of very good quality as well. She had a chart that we all compared our creature findings to. We concluded that our stream consisted of average stream quality (a score of approximately 5, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best). There were many other tests like water pH testing as well; on the project’s website, the team has recorded our water quality testing session’s results!
Our next Pixie Stream task consists of removing the weeds stuck in the stream itself. If you walk along the gravel pathways and onto the fields, you might be able to spot the large greens blocking our stream’s flow.
A special thanks to Ms. Butler Shaw, Project Twin Stream’s team and the Environment Committee for all their hard work thus far.
Written by Anon-creampuff