Queenstown school kids' art super-sized on bus

by Lauren Pattemore - Jun 14, 2024

The back of a Queenstown bus is now covered in artwork inspired by the drawings of local school children passionate about keeping local waterways clean.

At a bus unveiling event on Tuesday, the year five and six pupils from Queenstown Primary School saw the end design, collated from their individual pictures, for the first time.

Queenstown Primary School pupils with their teacher Susan McIntyre and representatives from Ritchies and the Otago Regional Council.

The back of the bus is advertising the Otago Regional Council's pollution hotline.

The mobile advertising campaign, developed with the help of the ORC and Enviroschools Otago, is only one part of the learning and action undertaken by these green-thumbed youngsters this year.

They also visited Horne Creek, located near the primary school, and investigated the health of the water using testing equipment. 

They studied how water travels through different areas as well as human impacts on the creek.

Two classes also planted the banks of Horne Creek, an activity facilitated by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Enviroschools regional co-ordinator Chelsea Donnelly says the work they do is about empowering pupils and building sustainable communities. 

"The pupils have learnt about the importance of caring for our local environment and that they can take action to bring about change.”

Their efforts were celebrated by Queenstown resident and ORC councillor Alexa Forbes, who urged them to continue their work and take their learnings to all parts of their lives.

"Thank you for being the voice for water. Nature is our most valuable resource and all of nature is connected by water – so you can see its value."

She says it is not an easy task. 

Queenstown Primary School pupils Annabel Clouston, 11, Clara Obermoser, 10, and Maddy Hyland, 11.

"Protecting water is difficult because so many things put it under threat."

The ORC hotline answers calls from members of the community who have observed pollution in waterways, air, land and coastal marine areas within the region.

Main image: Queenstown Primary School pupils Stella Potter and Grace Bell.

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