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Enjoy Your Parks Theme for Conservation Week


28 July 2000

Enjoy Your Parks Theme for This Year’s Conservation Week


Community groups, schools, individuals and organisations around Northland are being encouraged to celebrate their parks as part of national Conservation Week that kicks off on Sunday July 31.

The Department of Conservation’s community relation manager Jeff Griggs said this year’s theme was “Enjoy Your Parks,” and was a perfect occasion for people to reflect on the importance and role of parks in their lives.

“Parks, or public places no matter how big or small, are a very important part of New Zealand society,” Mr Griggs said.

“This week gives us an opportunity to think a little more closely about these places and how important they are not only to ourselves and our families, but also their role in protecting the conservation values of this country,” he said.

One of the highlights of the week is a visit to Northland by television personality and renowned “bugman” Ruud Kleinpaste on Friday August 4th.

Mr Kleinpaste will be speaking to gardeners and school students during the day as well as giving a public lecture at the Hearing Association clubrooms on Deveron Street starting at 7:30pm.

Mr Griggs also said while Northland may not have any of this country’s 13 national parks, it nonetheless has a large number of important forests, as well as smaller parks and reserves that are equally important for recreation, relaxation and conservation.

These include places like Bream Head and Mt Manaia, the internationally recognised Waipoua Forest, Russell Forests to name a few.

“There are also a large number of parks run by our associates like the Whangarei, Kaipara and Far North District Councils’s that contribute to the collection of public places people can enjoy,” he said.

“We should also use this event to reflect on the importance of our “underwater parks” like the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve and other marine protected area,” he added.

Conservation Week is an annual week of activities and action for the environment co-ordinated by the Department of Conservation (DOC) in the first week of August each year.

Mr Griggs said one of the main aims this year was to encourage people who do not usually visit parks to get out and enjoy New Zealand’s natural attractions.

“Even a short visit can really open people’s eyes to the wonders of our natural heritage,” she said.

“The parks network is there for everyone to enjoy, “ he said.

Schools in particular are being encouraged to join in with the celebration, with a special education kit available on the DoC website at www.doc.govt.nz.

The week is also an opportunity for clubs, schools and councils to organise their own activities in the parks.

Conservation Week runs from 31 July to 6 August.

Some of the activities organised in Northland by the Department of Conservation are listed below.

This list is by no means exhaustive and DoC would like to encourage anyone else to organise their own activities to celebrate this important part of New Zealand

July 29: Tree planting at The Nook in conjunction with Whangarei District Council Reserve and Landcare. Meet at the reserve at 10am
July 30: Guided walk to Motukiore Island (Whangarei Harbour) led by DOC archaeologist James Robinson. Meet at the end of Scott Road at 10am (allow 2-3 hours)
August 1: Tree planting, Limestone Island (Whangarei Harbour). Join the local Conservation Corps at the Onerahi Yacht Club boat ramp at 10am for the day
August 2: Join the Bream Head community and school children and DOC staff for the annual planting day at Home Bay. Meet at the Urqharts Bay carpark, 10am A light lunch will be provided followed by a walk up Mt Manaia for those with energy to spare
August 3: Official opening of the Waihoanga Gorge walk, Puketi Forest. Join Kerikeri staff and their local community to mark the re-opening of this wonderful walk. 10:30am followed by a 60-minute guided walk among the magnificent kauri trees
August 3: Help DOC staff plant trees at Molly's Bush at Mimiwhangata Coastal Park. 10am start. Bring a spade, suitable clothing and footwear and lunch
August 4: Visit to Whangarei by "Bugman" Ruud Kleinpaste sponsored by Green's Garden Centre and Project Crimson. Public seminar 12-1pm at Greens, followed by a visit to the Parua Bay Hall to talk with local students about biodiversity. 7:30pm: public talk at the Hearing Association rooms, Devon Street, on the kiwi work he did in Northland a number of years ago. Gold coin donation
August 5: Planting on Limestone Island starting at 10am. Meet at the Onerahi Yacht Club boat ramp and bring along lunch, spade, sensible footwear and clothing


PLUS...

Children's colouring in competition, 'Northern Advocate' (see 27 July issue or pick up a copy from your local DoC office)

Russell Visitor Centre: local children will be making leaves for a driftwood branch 'tree' to be displayed in the visitor centre. The leaves will include messages about why parks are important, why they visit them, who they go with, what they do there etc.

For more information please contact Wanda Vivequin on (09) 4380299

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