Young explorers get a taste for nature
Summer, perfect for the great outdoors, and a great time to be part of the Kiwi Conservation Club (KCC). KCC, the kids’ branch of Forest & Bird, is all about getting kids into nature and learning about the natural world around them.
The Manawatu KCC branch promotes plenty of fun activities. Its monthly events, which take place after school, on weekends or in the school holidays, give children and their families the opportunity to explore wild nature and wild places together.
At the end of the summer holidays, eight families came on a trip to the Whitecliff Boulders on the Rangitikei River near Mangaweka. Similar to the more famous Moeraki Boulders in the South Island, these geologically rare round mudstone boulders, known as cannon ball concretions, are tucked into a bush remnant right on the river’s banks. The kids had a great time finding the hidden boulders and marvelling over their size, before enjoying a picnic and a refreshing dip in the river.
Upcoming KCC summer events include a tramp in the Tararua Ranges to Roaring Stag Hut – a great way to safely experience tramping as a family event, and as an introduction to the worldwide game of geocaching. Geocaching is similar to an outdoor treasure hunt using a GPS or smartphone device.
Activities change with the seasons. In May for instance, there’s a fungus hunt with a local fungus expert, as well as a Friday 13 themed market and movie night where kids can trade creations before settling down to watch a movie about the world’s scariest bugs. Our mid-winter event is a stay at the Forest & Bird lodge on Mt Ruapehu.
To know more about the KCC, come and meet us this Sunday February 21 during Esplanade Day. We will be in the Education Centre (opposite the duck pond) with an interactive display about the wildlife that can be found in our own back yard. There will be real live wetas and lizards for your kids to meet, loads of creatures to examine under microscopes, plus lots of games and puzzles.
Trying hard to rock ‘n roll, Kiwi Conservation Club member Zach Brown does his best to dislodge one of the spherical Whitecliff Boulders found on the banks of the Rangitikei River near Mangaweka.