Oakhill has now reached Platinum Eco-Schools status, which means we have earned our flag for 6 consecutive years. We have decided to take on an over-arching River Action Project in collaboration with Stepping Stones School, Sue Swain and other local partners. We will be monitoring the rivers next to our campus: Bricklebos River flowing through Pledge Park and the “Monkey Hole River” which flows down the west side of our campus. Both run past Stepping Stones and into the estuary. We have begun by starting a mapping process with the Grade 10 and Grade 7 children to take GPS readings of the rivers which will be transferred onto topographical maps. We have identified testing sites and are having the water professionally tested to identify pollution. Graeme Barnhoorn, of Sassenheim Estate, has informed us about an excellent treatment of pollution in rivers by using Effective Microorganisms. On Friday, the 8th March, he and a co-worker demonstrated how to make the mud balls using EM liquid, pine bark and Oakhill clay. Prep children, together with staff and pupils from Stepping Stones, had great fun sourcing the clay and making the balls. The balls will be “growing” over the next 10 days and once we have identified the polluted areas, we will be inserting the balls into the rivers during our Eco Day Experience on the 19th March. This will be followed by re-testing after a period of time to see if our interventions have worked. We will also be assessing sources of pollution and addressing these.
We are very excited about this project, especially since 2013 is the International Year of Water Co-operation.
Report: Jane Horn