Students compete in Challenge Day for Conservation Week

Students from nine local schools will be competing in Horizons Regional Council’s Challenge Day at Totara Reserve on Thursday 19 October to celebrate Conservation Week. 

The theme of this year’s Conservation Week is ‘love my backyard’ and runs from October 14 to 22. Encouraging the next generation to learn about their local natural environment and how they can contribute to its sustainability is the focus for the Challenge Day.

As the Regional Council, Horizons manages natural resources within the Manawatu-Whanganui Region.  Environmental educator Sarah Galley says the morning will be based around hands-on learning activities associated with the Council’s work in an outside of the classroom amazing race style event.

“In teams of two, students will need to complete as many environmental challenges as they can in an hour and a half,” says Ms Galley.

“Horizons-staffed stations will include activities such as identifying native and introduced fish, freshwater invertebrates and plants, and labelling predator tracks, as well as completing an ‘Are you a Surviva?’ game to help prepare children for an emergency event.

“Thanks to sponsors such as Pukaha Mt Bruce we have some fantastic and relevant prizes. Each team will also be awarded a native seedling to plant at their school to continue the theme of sustainability long into the future. 

“We ran a similar Challenge Day last year, and found it rewarding to see many students already have an awareness of sustainability.

“We’re really pleased to have a bunch of new schools getting involved this year, it’s a great way for them to learn about protecting, growing, nurturing, and caring for nature.”

Totara Reserve is a Regional Park nestled in the Pohangina Valley, and home to a number of native bird, plant and tree species. The Reserve is one of the most accessible examples of lowland forest that once covered most of the Horizons Region.

Totara Reserve opens for the camping season this Labour Weekend; with swimming spots, powered and non powered camping sites and toilet facilities, it’s a great place to spend time over summer.

Conservation Week is organised by the Department of Conservation and is supported by a number of organisations such as Horizons.