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Mud, sweat, and laughs: Nature the best teacher for Southland eco-warriors

Kindergarten South's eco-warriors have started their Discovering Nature programme for Conservation Week.

Southland Kindergarten Association bought a reserve and started the programme a year ago.

Each Invercargill kindergarten gets to go out there every week for a morning.

Obviously, they learn about nature, but teachers have noticed they get so much more out of the experience.

"It increases children's concentration spans, and parents noticed children persevering more with tasks that they had to do," said senior teacher Pam Wilson.

"Children learn to get along with each other, they form relationships with their peers, with the adult helpers that are out here, and of course with the natural environment," said Discovering Nature teacher Wendy McLachlan.

The Department of Conservation supports this hands-on look at nature.

"When we look at these young kids out here enjoying the bush, our message is just to keep doing it.

"The earlier you can get them out there and exploring our native environments, the greater the connection they're going to get," said Department of Conservation community supervisor John McCarrell.

That connection seems to start with this programme, with Mother Nature teaching everything as only she can.

"I love sliding down a big mudslide, and I love climbing up all of the trees, and I love getting muddy hands," said kindy kid Arlo Fletcher. 

Southland Kindergarten Association bought a reserve to help New Zealand's mini eco-warriors learn about nature. Source: 1 NEWS