3rd Dibanisa Group for 2012 Kicks Off!

Posted under Eco-Tourism Blog by Grootbos on 30th July 2012

Last Friday saw the start of the 3rd Dibanisa group for 2012! This term we have a group of Grade 7's from Blompark Primary School!

The introductory lesson took place at the Gansbaai Tourism centre and presented by Christoff Longland, one of Grootbos's guides. Christoff told the children about the two main ecosystems in the Gansbaai - the fynbos and marine ecosystems and gave the children an illustration of how the marine ecosystem works and what happens if you remove an element from nature, using kelp as an example.

He also showed the children some hairy caterpillars and told the children that they are important because they feed on the Rhus, causing the shrub to regenerate and that the worms in turn fertilise the plants through their droppings and are food for the cuckoo bird. These birds are very clever and can mimic other birds' eggs. They can decide beforehand which eggs they want to mimic!

Christoff then illustrated the various trophic levels through the use of tins which were stacked on top of each other. The bottom layer symbolised the producers (plants), the second layer the consumers (herbivores) and the third layer secondary consumers (predators), with man being on the top of the pyramid.

He then asked a few of the children to remove one of the tins in one of the layers and to then see what happens.
Through this exercise, the children learnt that all of life is connected and that man is the one who suffers the most.

They also completed a puzzle illustrating the difference between the marine and fynbos ecosystems.

To end of their session, Christoff and the kids played a game!

We want to thank Christoff for his enthusiastic presentation and sharing his love of nature with the children, the Gansbaai Tourism Centre for allowing us to use their facilities yet again and to all the Football Foundation volunteers and coaches who assisted with the programme!

We look forward to next week's lesson which will take place at Green Futures!

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