Se7en Celebrates World Wetlands Day With Changing Lives Through Nature…

Changing Lives through Nature is an organisation that believes in enriching our lives by engaging children from all walks of life with knowledge of the environment… immersion in nature has proven again and again to be the way to teach people of all ages to love the environment and so care for it. They provide outings and excursions and day programmes filled with hands on nature activities for children from all over the greater Cape Town area. Their work is incredible, and if you are into the great outdoors, even slightly, then you should definitely be following them, and looking out for days like these.

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Recently, I noticed a flyer on their instagram feed, which I reposted over here… inviting homeschoolers to join them for a day of fun… to celebrate World Wetland Day. We were really excited to join them… we have been following them for a while and their adventures look so exciting… And, it was one of our best days ever…
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They treated us to the most amazing day of learning about the great outdoors… it is going to be a day that we remember for the longest time…
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Our day began with some ice-breakers… and after that we quickly settled into a day of active learning…

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What is a Wetland?


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Wetlands are important water features that provide a home to a number of plants and animals, they also store water and filter water and so provide a good resource for their inhabitants to make use of. Wetlands are found on aquifer’s and behave as sponges. In the area we visited there are two wetlands, a seasonal wetland called Rondevlei, and a permanent wetland called Zeekoevlei. Wetlands are natural water purifiers, dirty water flows into them and the reeds filter out the dirt and capture debris, so that clean water flows out of the system. Wetlands are areas of high biodiversity and are under threat because of over development, over harvesting and pollution, not to mention invader plant species that can totally cover the surface… blocking sunlight from reaching below the surface. If the sunlight can’t reach below the surface then photosynthesis doesn’t occur, without light there is no food and without food their is no life. The life in your wetland will die when a invasive plant species settles in.

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We Learned How to Make a Mini-Wetland


Our first experiment of the day was to create our own wetland…
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We gathered some grasses and wetland plant matter, and we added some pollution as well…

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Then we poured some dirty water through our mini wetland, and added some sponges into the mix, as the bottom layer of a wetland is spongey…
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And the water came out clean… surprisingly clean… proof that wetlands really do clean our water.

Dragon Boating


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Our next adventure took us out onto the water, to explore the vlei. First we had to learn a few paddling skills, but we were quickly ready to go. And we all loved this!!!
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From Dragon Boating to SASS Testing


We did a mini SASS test of the Zeekoeivlei wetland. Each teeny tiny animal in a sample of water gets a score, and when the scores are added up and popped into a formula, the result can be used as an indicator of how clean or how dirty the water is. A little learning and a little discovering exactly how everything works and we were ready to dive in… this is hands on learning at its best!!!
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After taking samples and adding up our data on the identification chart we were able to determine that the water this vlei is in good condition.
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We Stopped by the Gantauw Project

On the way we stopped to take a quick look at the Gantouw Project… this is a fascinating project where Eland have been reintroduced onto the Cape Flats and they are used as a natural vegetation control. These large buck were removed from the region through habitat loss and have been reintroduced in the natural areas as a way to control the natural vegetation and encourage the natural biodiversity in such a small and rich region. Because we were there in the heat of the day we didn’t get to see the eland, but we chatted with a handler and learnt a few interesting eland facts… and tried their feed… we follow these guys, the Gantouw Project on instagram, it is a fascinating project and we would love to learn more about it.

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A Bird Walk Through Rondevlei


After a shady lunch, and a visit to the eland project we were up and ready to go on a Bird Walk through the Rondevlei Bird Sanctuary…
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We had a wander through their information centre…
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And a visit to the classroom to learn about the birds we would most likely encounter in our walk…
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And we learnt about hippos… and their skat…
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And my kids kept saying they hoped they would see a hippo, and I (the wise mother person said they didn’t really have hippos)… turns out they have at least nine… who knew? and there is evidence of them everywhere…
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We also learnt a lot about local plants…
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What is delicious and what is an acquired taste!!!
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And we learnt about insects… how is this ant’s nest!!!
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Into the bird hide…
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And up onto the viewing deck…
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And very far away, and particularly poor photography skills but just past those reeds we saw hippo!!! Actual live hippo… you are going to have to believe us!!!
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Down, down, down…
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And look at this little fellow!!!
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One last Experiment


Create your own mini wetland… a refresher on all that we had learned… layers of grass and reeds and sand and stones. Dirty water in… and clean water out…
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Don’t Scroll Further Down if You Don’t Love Snakes


As a special reward for a fantastic day out they showed us their snakes… And can I just say, not all, but some… of my kids love snakes…
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And that was it… a perfect day that ended far too soon. Look out for the Changing Lives through Nature Team, they are an inspiration to children and their parents… they are literally changing lives through nature.

Thank you so much to the Changing Lives Through Nature Team for a wonderful day out, we loved every second of it. This is not a sponsored blogpost, but we did experience the day as a gift for an honest review and blog post.

Changing Lives Through Nature

4 Replies to “Se7en Celebrates World Wetlands Day With Changing Lives Through Nature…”

  1. It’s great that while their young they get to learn and experience these things to help nature and the wetlands.

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