Pond working bee

An Omarama pond is being developed into an outdoor environmental learning area for the town's school.

The project started about two years ago when Omarama Station donated the pond, about 1km south of Omarama at the corner of State Highway 8 and Broken Hut Rd.

The community has been invited to a working bee on Saturday to further develop the concept with a $10,000 grant from Treemendous School Makeover, a groupsupported by Project Crimson and the Mazda Foundation.

Relieving principal Jan Severinsen said Omarama was one of only four schools to get one of the annual grants.

It would go towardsdeveloping an outdoor learning centre at the pond, putting in a walkway and extensive planting at the northern end of the pond, she said.

The project started two years ago with senior pupils after the pond was donated by Omarama Station forrestoration and development. It now involves all 25 pupils at the school.

The school, working with Environment Canterbury and the Department of Conservation, has fenced the pond, planted its edges, monitored its health and even caught fish.

Now, with the Treemendous funding, the next stage can start, with the help of pupils, parents and the community from 8am to 1pm on Saturday.

"This is a great real-life teaching opportunity in which the whole school can make a difference by giving back to our local environment by helping restore the pond's ecosystem," she said.