Pass­port to pro­mote parks

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Palmy Rocks was a big hit last school hol­i­days. Dec­o­rat­ing small stones with colour­ful de­signs and leav­ing them in city parks and re­serves for oth­ers to find and col­lect also caught on in other cen­tres around the coun­try.

Keep­ing the mo­men­tum up on free fam­ily fun in the city’s great out­doors, Palmy Rocks’ Heather Knox last week went live with an idea she de­scribed as ’’a guar­an­teed trea­sure hunt’’.

The Palmy Pass­port to Play, with city coun­cil back­ing, is an ex­plorer’s hand­book.

Avail­able at all li­brary branches and on­line, the trial pro­gramme in­vites par­tic­i­pants to col­lect ‘rub­bings’ from the 10 yel­low posts in­stalled in city parks to win a $500 out­doors themed prize, as well as other spot prizes.

‘‘We wanted to do some­thing for sum­mer, but re­alised that a lot of peo­ple didn’t know where all the parks were,’’ Knox said.

As well as a map show­ing the lo­ca­tions, the 20-page pass­port con­tains ideas of things to do in each park, and a page to col­lect a rub­bing of ev­ery park’s ‘stamp’, which is set atop the post.

For the sum­mer trial, Knox said coun­cil set up the posts, pro­vided a de­signer for the pass­port and spon­sored the prizes.

She hoped the coun­cil would get a lot of en­tries for the prize draw and be en­cour­aged to con­tinue with sim­i­lar pro­grammes.

‘‘There’s real value in this. The chal­lenge is aimed at en­cour­ag­ing lo­cals to get out­doors, to love where they live and have fun.’’

She said out­side ac­tiv­ity was good for men­tal health and phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘By get­ting our chil­dren out­doors, they have fun, take risks and get ex­er­cise with­out even notic­ing it.’’

Com­ple­ment­ing other ini­tia­tives by Knox, the Palmy Dirty Thirty, Manawatu Fam­ily Mi­croad­ven­tur­ers and Palmy Rocks, her orig­i­nal con­cept in­cluded 40 park ar­eas, mean­ing it could eas­ily be ex­panded.

The coun­cil’s Jeff Baker said the de­sign, print­ing and prize sup­port for the trial came cour­tesy of the city’s place­mak­ing ini­tia­tive.

‘‘We worked with Heather for six months on which parks to choose and places to high­light. It runs un­til Fe­bru­ary when we’ll re­view it, but I’d like to think we’d get in be­hind an­other one.’’

He was im­pressed at how quickly the pass­ports were ‘‘fly­ing off the shelves’’ at the cen­tral li­brary.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH

One down, nine to go - Is­abelle Parkin­son, 10, has made the first pen­cil rub­bing on her hol­i­day Pass­port to Play from the spe­cial post set up in The Square.

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