Na­ture Hunt huge suc­cess

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Bud­ding young en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists turned up in droves to The Es­planade to join in the inau­gu­ral Kiwi Guardians Na­ture Hunt.

The Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion teamed up with Manawatu Toy­ota to host the event last Wed­nes­day.

The Kiwi Guardians, which started this year, is an out­door ac­tiv­ity pro­gramme run by DoC in part­ner­ship with Toy­ota that en­cour­ages chil­dren to ex­plore the nat­u­ral world and earn medals while do­ing it.

Toy­ota’s Su­san­nah Cowan said the num­bers that turned out for the school hol­i­day event ex­ceeded even the most op­ti­mistic pro­jec­tions.

‘‘At the most we were ex­pect­ing be­tween 20 to 30 kids, but the emails flooded in and it quickly es­ca­lated, and ended up at­tract­ing 160 kids and their par­ents - more than 300 peo­ple.’’

Par­tic­i­pants em­braced the el­e­ments and got stuck into tasks such as iden­ti­fy­ing na­tive plants, an­i­mals and the colours in na­ture.

There were blind­fold chal­lenges, a sausage siz­zle and goodie bags.

Among the ac­tiv­i­ties pro­moted on the Kiwi Guardians web­site are en­cour­age­ments for chil­dren to be­come ‘weed war­riors’ in the war on pest plants, ‘pest de­tec­tives’ to sleuth out harm­ful an­i­mal species, build­ing weta ho­tels, as well as ex­plor­ing the re­gion’s out­door at­trac­tions.

‘‘At the most we were ex­pect­ing be­tween 20 to 30 kids, but the emails flooded in and it quickly es­ca­lated’’ Su­san­nah Cowan

SARAH-KATE SIN­CLAIR/SUP­PLIED

Crowds line up for food dur­ing the Kiwi Guardians day held last week at The Es­planade.

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