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Plants & Friends Feldmühle - Review

Activity  Review


Youssef Hamza

Short summary:

Summer is finally here, and we decided once again to experience the beauty of nature in St. Polten. We decided to explore the alluvial area of Feldmühle and shared this adventure with the children “Otto Glöckel Elementary School”. Given the peculiarity of this natural area, we decided to focus our experience on the topic of aquatic organisms.

At the end of the school year we had a very special treat for the kids of a 3rd grade class at Otto Glöckel elementary school in St. Pölten. We went with them to Feldmühle - a truly marvelous and largely unknown protected area on the eastern side of the dam that encloses the Traisen river north of the city.

Armed by bamboo basket we started our journal and not even rain stopped us!! Our arrival in Feldmühle was the occasion to provide an explanation on what is an alluvial area: it is an ecosystem which is defined by seasonal floodings. The children were informed on the peculiarity of this ecosystem. Feldmühle represents a unique environment because its flora and fauna are not economically exploitable: for this reason, this natural area needs to be protected.

The main attraction of our walk was the pond that we explored in the middle of our walk. The children were divided in pairs. Each pair received an insect box and a net for the collection of aquatic organisms. Dragonflies, water snails, larvae, little fishes and leeches: these were the main organisms we collected to emulate the pond‘s ecosystem in small containers. We learned together how to recognize these species and we discovered the crucial role of water quality as a bioindicator.

We classified every organism with the help of our species ID cards. Children just loved to observe their collections with the magnifying glasses that we provided to them! Before the end of this wonderful experience, we taught to our adventurers how to release the microorganisms in the water without damaging them – according to a Buddhist ritual. Feldmühle enriched us in our knowledge and allowed us to spend quality time in a beautiful environment. Sadly, we had to leave this wonderful location, but we know that there will be new locations to explore, new natural secrets to discover, and friends to be made in our adventures!

We are extremely pleased about the positive feedback we received from both pupils and teachers who want to continue their nature exploration in fall. This might actually become possible with the support of the municipal and state government – we have talks on both levels to start a cooperation on the Mobile Campus 4.0. Moreover, Tangente STP, the city’s culture festival has decided to team up with Green Steps for their summer program August 12-14d. With some luck this cooperation will go into an extension with local schools in autumn.