Locals of all ages can come together and get green fingers as they take part in events for Conservation Week.

People are encouraged to take a look in their backyard this Conservation Week to see how they can help protect and nurture our amazing and unique wildlife.

It started on Saturday and runs until this Sunday, and this year the Department of Conservation is trying to get people to convert their love of nature into action.

On Saturday the Rotorua Botanical Society held an Okareka Mistletoe Restoration Project Weed Control Work Day in the Tikitapu Scenic Reserve.


Department of Conservation Rotorua ranger Paul Cashmore said it was a morning of mostly weed control, as mistletoe was one of our nationally threatened plant species and weeds were a major threat.

He said just as the kiwi is an endangered native bird species, the mistletoe is a plant equivalent.

Mr Cashmore said they had a reasonable turnout and achieved a lot of work, getting most of the priority weeds controlled.

"It was a great start to Conservation Week and we hope to get good turnouts for the rest of the week, especially with this ongoing nice weather we are having.

"We are looking forward to seeing some more of the public at events in the week."

Ranger Kevin Buttell inspecting a large mistletoe plant at Lake Okareka. Photo/Supplied
Ranger Kevin Buttell inspecting a large mistletoe plant at Lake Okareka. Photo/Supplied

Mr Cashmore said Conservation Week was a great opportunity for the general public to be involved in day-to-day conservation activities and see what it was all about.

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On Wednesday there will be a day of native tree planting from 8am to 4pm, meeting at the Department of Conservation.

People can spend the day with Department of Conservation rangers getting native plants and trees in the ground at the Waikite Wetland to help restore vulnerable species in the area.

To register for this event contact Catherine at cnoble@doc.govt.nz or (027) 852-3683.

On Thursday is Tales at Twilight: Mud, Myths and Music.

Families can join the Travelling Tuataras and friends at twilight in the Redwoods, from 6pm to 7.30pm, for interactive storytelling woven of mud, myths and music.

Kiwi Aversion Training for dogs will be held on Saturday at the Tikitapu Scenic Reserve.

More information will be available soon at www.doc.govt.nz.

The Department of Conservation will be at the Lake Tarawera Spring Fair on Sunday.

Department of Conservation ranger Catherine Noble said they wanted to show people conservation could be done in their own backyard, gardens, parks and marine areas.

"Our predator-free vision of ridding the country of rats, stoats and possums by 2050 starts in your own backyard.

"It's great to see momentum gathering as more communities band together to make their own areas predator-free.

"Getting out and taking care of our nature also has the added benefit of improving health and wellbeing, so it's win-win."

An opportunity for the family and whanau to explore nature is to go for a walk and earn a Toyota Kiwi Guardian medal.

"Rotorua is lucky enough to have a Toyota Kiwi Guardian Adventure site in our own backyard at Okere Falls Scenic Reserve.

"Kids can explore the trail and learn about the history and stories as you follow the Okere River as is cascades between narrow, steep ravines to enter the tranquil waters of Trout Pool."

Conservation Week marks the launch of our new waterways clean-up medal, Toa Tiaki Wai.

Download the Toyota Kiwi Guardian Okere Falls Adventure Map from www.doc.govt.nz.

DoC's partners are also getting involved, with Genesis encouraging children to take part in a national competition with its Whio Boot Camp online game.

The game teaches players how a whio lives in the wild - eating, running rapids and hopefully avoiding predators.

Conservation Week Activities:
- Native Tree Planting
- Ohau Channel Cleanup
- Rotorua Botanical Society - Okareka Mistletoe Project
- Tales at Twilight: Mud, Myths and Music
- Kiwi Aversion Training for Dogs
- DOC at the Lake Tarawera Spring Fair

For more information go to www.conservationweek.org.nz.