The Great Wee Springtime Nature Treasure Hunt
Flourish Kia Puāwai, an Ōtautahi-Christchurch based social enterprise, has created an alternative treasure hunt to help people to explore and engage with nature in their local area.
Called ‘The Great Wee Springtime Nature Treasure Hunt’ it is designed to enrich and deepen peoples’ recreational outings anytime but work well during Covid lockdown levels 2 to 4.
The treasure hunt involves ten challenges that mostly involve identifying native flora and fauna in the locality being explored.
Flourish Kia Puāwai Co-Director and designer of the tool, Mark Gibson, says, “staying local during these periods of restrictions is an opportunity to learn more about where we live, and to value and engage with the life all around us, that we often don’t see in our busy and wide-ranging lives”.
Gibson says that “the nature treasure hunt is a way of encouraging people to slow down and notice and enjoy more what’s around us. It is particularly designed for local nature reserves but could be used in a variety of settings. Our hope is that it will add value to daily walks that we are taking during this season of new life”.
“Greater awareness and connection can create the basis for local action that restores the well-being and health of ourselves and the places where we live”, Michelle Whitaker, the other Co-Director says. “The connection between wellbeing and nature is becoming more apparent and needed during these tougher times.”
They are also hoping to add prizes to those children and young families who want to enter their answers in a competition and welcome any nature related prizes donated from local businesses.
The initiative is part of the Regenerative Communities Pilot project being developed by the social enterprise. A key part of the project is an engagement programme with senior students from St Martins School based in King George V Reserve in Christchurch South.
With a strong Action Research component, the learning made from running the programme will be used to inform further regenerative education initiatives in the future.
The Regenerative Communities Pilot project works closely also with tangata whenua, the Ōpāwaho Heathcote River Network and Christchurch City Council.