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Great turnout for GW's recreation programme

14 May 2008

Great summer, great turnout for GW's recreation programme

A stunning summer and action-packed events equalled an impressive attendance for Greater Wellington's Regional Outdoors Programme this year.

"The key to the programme's ongoing success is that events are either free or very low cost, and are interesting and diverse in their content," says Parks, Forests and Utilities Committee Chairman Cr Rex Kirton. "We do our best to provide something for everybody in the community, so that as many people as possible can enjoy what our regional parks and forests have to offer."

Council officers reported to the Parks, Forests and Utilities Committee last week that over 4,724 people attended events run by Greater Wellington or in partnership with others, up from 3,800 last year. Events run by other organisations, such as the Karapoti Classic, took the overall attendance up to 14,105 (last year's overall attendance was 10,843). The programme had 57 events from the end of December to March 48 were organised by Greater Wellington and the rest by outside providers or volunteer groups, with GW input.

"We even extended the programme this year, due to the popularity of events such as the Lighthouse to Lakes walk around the East Harbour Regional Park's wetlands and the Farm to Coast tramp in Battle Hill Farm Forest Park these were both repeated at the end of the season," says Cr Kirton.

The programme gets invaluable support from other organisations and volunteers who want to do their bit to promote the region's outdoor spaces and encourage people to get out and about. Local experts contributed their time and knowledge to nature walks and Dwights Outdoors sponsored 26 events. The programme also had great support from the Cancer Society, Caf L'Affare and the Radio Network.

Cr Kirton urges people around the region to keep visiting the parks during the winter. "They're a great way to push play and enjoy our natural environment. We've got a range of tracks for all abilities and we'll be listing upcoming events like the planting days on our website."


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