Love your Whanganui backyard and make a difference this Conservation Week
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionPeople of all ages are encouraged to look in their backyard this Conservation Week to see how they can help protect and nurture our amazing and unique wildlife.
Date: 09 October 2017
Conservation Week runs from 14-22 October and Community Ranger Scotty Moore says this year DOC is trying to get people to convert their love of nature into action.
“We know that 85%* of New Zealanders rate conservation as important to them personally, yet still only about one in 10 have actively helped on a conservation project,” he says.
“We want to show people that conservation can be done in your own backyard, gardens, parks and marine areas. Even small actions make a big difference.
“Our predator-free vision of ridding the country of rats, stoats and possums by 2050 starts in your own backyard. It’s great to see momentum gathering as more communities’ band together to make their own areas predator free.”
In Whanganui, we have plenty of activities to show people how easy it is to get involved undertaking weed control and restorative planting activities.
DOC Operations Manager Jasmine Hessell says getting out and taking care of our nature also has the added benefit of improving health and wellbeing.
“It’s great to see DOC’s partners also getting involved in Conservation Week. This includes Genesis, who are encouraging kids to take part in a national competition with its Whio Boot Camp online game. As well as being fun, the game teaches players how a whio lives in the wild, eating, running rapids and hopefully avoiding predators.
“Toyota New Zealand are also getting involved. Our Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme connects kids with nature and rewards them with medals. Conservation Week marks the launch of our new waterways clean-up medal, Toa Tiaki Wai.”
Local Whanganui events
Pink ragwort weeding at Whitiau Scientific Reserve
Date: Saturday 14 October (9 am - 3 pm)
Come along and help rid this coastal scientific reserve of pink ragwort, an introduced and invasive garden ornamental which, left uncontrolled, can form dense cover smothering native plants and habitat. As this event involves hand pulling pink ragwort, and traversing uneven and untracked terrain, it is suitable only for ages 16 and older.
- Where to meet: 9 am at the intersection of Pauri Rd and Pauri Domain beside the Whanganui prison.
- What to bring: Clothing for all weather. Be prepared for unexpected weather changes. Sunhat, sunscreen, gumboots or sturdy footwear. Bring a packed lunch, morning and afternoon tea will be provided.
Bushy Park activities
Dates: Tuesday 17 October and Thursday 19 October (9 am - 4 pm)
Join our Bushy Park volunteers for activities in and around the predator fenced sanctuary, for the morning, afternoon, or both. We will be working alongside toutouwai/North Island robin, tīeke/saddleback, and hihi/stitchbird as spring approaches. We will be undertaking trap and fence line checks and some light digging work along the fence line for maintenance, plus weed work (ivy and banana passionfruit) around the edges of the mature forest. Everyone is welcome.
- Where to meet: Bushy Park Stables (25 km north of Whanganui, on Rangitatau East Road).
- Contact coordinator Mandy Brooke +64 22 698 2388, firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to join us, and to arrange a lift from Whanganui if needed.
- What to bring: Clothing for all weather. Bring a packed lunch, morning and afternoon tea will be provided.
Gordon Park Scenic Reserve tours and tī kōuka/cabbage tree planting
Date: Thursday 19 October (10 am - 1 pm)
Join the Friends of Gordon Park, students from St Johns Hill School and DOC rangers for a tour of this wetland kahikatea forest fragment in Whanganui East's backyard. The Friends of Gordon Park are a group of passionate volunteers who undertake invasive weed control and restorative planting at the park every fortnight and are a wealth of botanical knowledge.
Learn what plants form the habitat at the park, search for Whanganui rocks along the track edges, help your children earn a Toyota Kiwi Guardians medal by finding the Toyota Kiwi Guardians plaque, and contribute to the ongoing restoration of the forest by planting a tī kōuka/cabbage tree with St Johns Hill students (11:30 am) followed by a sausage sizzle hosted by Whanganui Toyota.
- Where to meet: Tours run from 10 am - 11:30 am at the Gordon Park Carpark on Kaimatira Rd.
- Tī kōuka planting 11:30 am - noon on no.3 line (at the bridge gate across from Ag Challenge).
- Sausage sizzle from noon at the Gordon Park Carpark on Kaimatira Rd.
- What to bring: Clothing for all weather.
Castlecliff Beach clean-up
Date: Saturday 21 October (2 - 4 pm)
Plastic pollution is a growing problem; everyday it chokes our waterways, damages marine ecosystems, and becomes part of the marine food chain. Spend an afternoon at the beach with like-minded families scouring the sand for hidden rubbish. Whanganui Resource Recovery will provide their recycling trailer for any recyclables, and DOC will provide bags for collecting rubbish, a sausage sizzle at the end of the day and will dispose of any rubbish that cannot be recycled.
- Where to meet: Duncan Pavilion, Rangiora St.
- What to bring: Clothing for all weather, work or gardening gloves (optional), sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
Check out www.conservationweek.org.nz for more ideas.
- DOC’s partners also get involved in Conservation Week. This includes Genesis, who are encouraging kids to take part in a national competition with its Whio Boot Camp online game. As well as being fun, the game teaches players how a whio lives in the wild, eating, running rapids and hopefully avoiding predators.
- Toyota New Zealand are also getting involved. Our Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme connects kids with nature and rewards them with medals. Conservation Week marks the launch of our new waterways clean-up medal, Toa Tiaki Wai.
- *Engagement figures come from the Survey of New Zealanders 2016
Scotty Moore, Community Ranger, Whanganui
Mobile: +64 27 5366801