Con­ser­va­tion week runs with­healthy theme

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENVIRONMENT - TENE TANGATATAI

Con­ser­va­tion Week, Novem­ber 1 – 8, en­cour­ages peo­ple of all ages, shapes and sizes to get out into our nat­u­ral ar­eas and reap the health ben­e­fits.

There are al­ways op­por­tu­ni­ties to get out into na­ture around Manawatu¯. Dur­ing Con­ser­va­tion Week, Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil, Wild­base Re­cov­ery, Te Man­awa, For­est & Bird, the Pit Park Peo­ple and the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion will all show­case their work in the out­doors.

Ash­hurst Do­main is the place on open­ing day this Sun­day Novem­ber 1. Be­tween 1 – 4pm there will be con­ser­va­tion games for kids, the chance to see mud fish and huhu grubs, and the op­por­tu­nity to do some weed­ing in the bush rem­nant.

Vic­to­ria Es­planade

hosts ac­tiv­i­ties on Satur­day Novem­ber 7 from 1 – 4pm. A spe­cial car­riage will be un­veiled at the Es­planade Scenic Rail­way and par­tic­i­pants are asked to keep an eye out for a dol­phin and for feathered friends in or­der to en­ter a con­ser­va­tion com­pe­ti­tion.

The fol­low­ing day, Sun­day Novem­ber 8, there’s an in­vi­ta­tion to join Te Man­awa at the Tu­ritea Stream in Bledis­loe Park from 1 – 2.30pm to in­ves­ti­gate stream life un­der the stones.

The De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion’s Out­reach and Ed­u­ca­tion man­ager Sarah Mur­ray says this year’s theme ‘‘Healthy Na­ture Healthy Peo­ple’’ draws links be­tween look­ing af­ter our nat­u­ral spa­ces and im­prov­ing our health out­comes.

‘‘Dis­con­nect­ing from the on­line world and the hus­tle and bus­tle of ev­ery­day life is eas­ier than many peo­ple think,’’ Sarah says.

‘‘Get­ting your toes wet, your boots muddy and un­wind­ing with the kids in our nat­u­ral spa­ces is the per­fect pre­scrip­tion for a health­ier life,’’ Sarah says.

A de­part­ment sur­vey shows that many Ki­wis recog­nise the im­por­tance of get­ting out­doors, with 77 per cent of New Zealan­ders vis­it­ing a DOC des­ti­na­tion in the past year.

The most pop­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties are short walks, sight­see­ing and pic­nics, but peo­ple also en­joy get­ting out camp­ing, tramp­ing, moun­tain bik­ing and swim­ming.

‘‘While those fig­ures are in­creas­ing, a sec­tor of our pop­u­la­tion still isn’t aware that reg­u­larly in­ter­act­ing with the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment will mean bet­ter phys­i­cal and men­tal health and so­cial well­be­ing,’’ Sarah says.

For more about Con­ser­va­tion Week ac­tiv­i­ties visit doc.govt.nz/con­ser­va­tion­week

PHOTO: PNCC/SUP­PLIED

Easy ac­cess to the Manawatu River is just one of the rea­sons to visit the Ash­hurst Do­main dur­ing Con­ser­va­tion Week.

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