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