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