Community invite to lakes event

Lake Clearwater. Photo Murray Thompson
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Information on water quality monitoring at O tu wharekai/Ashburton Lakes is part of a pop-up community event at Lake Clearwater tomorrow.

It’s a chance for the community to learn about initiatives under way to restore the lakes by organisations and landowners in the O tu wharekai Working Group.

Some of the activity is easy to spot, such as the water quality monitoring stations floating in the lakes, and signs to improve visitor behaviour in the area. But there’s also work happening in more remote parts – like stream surveys, farm assessments, and mahinga kai/ traditional resource cultural health assessments.

The event, on Saturday, February 25 at the lakefront on Mount Darchiac Drive from 11am to 2pm, is an opportunity for people to ask questions and talk to those directly involved in the projects.

It’s being jointly hosted by the O tu wharekai Working Group and the Ashburton Water Zone Committee, and will include displays, kids’ activities and a sausage sizzle.

There’ll also be information on O tu wharekai’s significance to Nga i Tahu Wha nui – not only within their oral history but also being both an important seasonal mahinga kai area and a major travelling route between the settlements on the eastern coast of Te Waipounamu/the South Island and those on Te Tai Poutini/the West Coast.

Central South Island Fish & Game is planning a live fish display to show some of the species that live in the lakes, and our scientists will demonstrate the tools used to measure water clarity and colour. They’ll also share recent data on lake health.

While the adults are chatting, children can get busy with a bug search, an interactive water run-off model, and the very popular ‘tuna and drains’ game.

Other displays will focus on biodiversity, conservation, aquatic pests, council requirements, visitor behaviour in the area, and a whole lot more!

The aim is to share information in a relaxed, family-friendly environment.