By Ophelie Maraval A detailed painting of the Swan River realised by a class from the Casa Mia Montessori Community School will be soon exhibited at the Bassendean Council to make the community more aware of local biodiversity. In June this year, 15 students from Years four to seven spent a day on the riverside of the Swan River to explore the different species living there. Angela Rossen, artist and educator, taught the students to slow down and observe closely the environment around them before painting it. “This painting of the Ashfield flats shows how we think the river could look if man looked after it. Angela painted the background, and we added all the animals that you find along the Swan River,” said students Flynn (9) and James (10),who participated in the project.Mixing art and biology got the children excited and interested about the Swan River and its varied population. The workshop also aimed to engage children with environmental issues such as climate change and the impact of humans on nature. “Attitudes towards conservation will come about with understanding of Nature and it is important that children feel they can take a meaningful part in the conservation of the Swan River,” said Miss Rossen. The students named their painting “The River, How We Like It”- a reference to the health of the river and its animals. The painting was entered in the Town of Bassendean Visual Art Award, and generated a lot of interest from the community, which was really touched by the details and the effort. “They had the confidence to paint on the canvas, it’s quite overwhelming, when I was painting my little bit I was so scared but the kids were so brave, they painted two or three things,” said Marta Zagorska, teacher of the Maali class involved in the project. Consideration is being given to taking the painting on a tour of schools to be used to raise awareness among communities.