Shirley Peterson

Whangarei, NZ [Environmental Educator, LEOTC Kiwi North]

Workshop title: "Natural Natives"

During this "hands-on workshop" we will explore the following themes:
- how to make a weta hotel or a lizard-safe area, and explain the role of cats and rats and mice in reducing insect and lizard numbers in the garden.
- safe native plants to grow in a small area or pots, that won"t poison kids and will feed birds and lizards throughout the year
- the layers of the forest (ground, shrub, small tree, canopy, emergent)
- podocarp/cone trees (totara) v's broadleaf/flowering trees (puriri) and how to identify these two groups in the forest to sort the trees out.
- eco-sourcing of genes in planting projects

Personal Bios: As the LEOTC, Learning Experiences Outside The Classroom Educator at Kiwi North I am lucky to have some amazing resources at my disposal. Working with the native flora and fauna in our Kiwi House and the taonga in our Museum we are able to provide a range of superb learning experiences for our community. I have reached out into our museum and ecology community and found some excellent partner sites that offer wonderful educational experiences for students of all ages. Together we are developing an educational network for Tai Tokerau that offers opportunities and support for learning in many different topic areas. Watching my own children explore our natural world and gaining the skills and knowledge to lead a sustainable lifestyle has been very important to me as a parent. It is a wonderful journey, reconnecting ourselves.

Shirley Peterson