Junior Rangers thrive on course
Every school holidays the popular Junior Rangers programme at Pukaha Mount Bruce engages primary and intermediate schoolage children with conservation activities and bush-based experiences.
Each weekday during the holidays between 11am and 3.15pm, children aged 6 to 12 years old are welcome to take part in a behind-the scenes-experience at Pukaha. Here they safely learn about caring for New Zealand’s native birds and animals.
The sessions introduce the youngsters to Pukaha’s captive breeding programmes where native birds are bred for release on-site for reintroduction into the wild. They learn how such programmes have helped to save some of the rarest species such as the takahe, shore plover and kakapo from extinction.
The programme has been an unqualified success. In 2013, Pukaha was running the Junior Ranger sessions three days a week during the school holidays but staff found that they couldn’t keep up with demand, so it was increased to five days a week.
There is still great demand, with some kids coming two or three times during the holidays. The youngsters love being outside, regardless of the weather, and really feel like they are making a contribution to conservation.
Pukaha is a great fan of the Junior Ranger programme, and it is always gratifying to welcome these keen young conservationists.
Taking part in the Junior Ranger programme costs $25 per child which includes lunch. All that children need to bring is a warm jacket and a sense of adventure.
Bookings can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 06 375 8004, www.pukaha.org.nz