The community is being encouraged to get out their green fingers and work together for Conservation Week.
The planning for a multitude of conservation-themed events around Rotorua is well underway, with rangers anticipating that Conservation Week 2019 will reach new peaks.
This year the week runs between September 14 and 22 and marks 50 years for the flagship event.
Department of Conservation community ranger Catherine Noble says planned events include a free BioBlitz event by Rainbow Springs and the Kiwi Conservation Club, a digital art exhibition, kiwi aversion training for dogs and a night walk to look at nocturnal creatures.
"Pulling together a multitude of events for Conservation Week has its challenges, but this year there has been a burst of events run by community organisations, volunteers and local businesses which I'm sure will bring a higher level of community engagement."
Catherine says she is particularly excited about the level of participation from local business and organisations.
"This year, we've really seen an increase in event sponsorship and organisations leading their own Conservation Week events or supporting DOC-led events.
"Conservation Week is a national event and an opportunity for all levels of the community to come together and celebrate nature."
Sudima Hotel staff are running a clean-up event around the Sulphur Bay area, followed by a DOC ranger-led talk on the threatened black billed gulls which are often seen in the area.
Catherine says kiwi aversion training is always a popular Conservation Week activity and worthwhile for dogs that are in bush areas.
"Uncontrolled dogs can easily kill kiwi - the training only takes 10 minutes and it's good practice for all hunting dogs to be tested and trained by a qualified facilitator."
Rotorua Library/Te Aka Mauri will be joining the festivities by hosting guest speakers from the Catfish Killas along with Te Arawa Para Kore representative Harina Rupapera, who specialises in whale resource recovery.
The library will also be putting a Conservation Week theme to its regular Lego club, with the participants being asked to create an ecosystem.
Taxidermy specimens of local species will be on display for visitors to view.
There have been 189 images submitted to the Conservation Week photography competition, and entries are being screened across the Bay of Plenty as part of a digital exhibition.
The exhibition can be viewed at Rotorua Library.
Prizes for the winning entries have been donated by a number of local businesses which have shown their support for Conservation Week 2019.
At Okareka, Steve Goodin has planned an event to showcase his biodiversity restoration work to members of the public who have registered to attend.
He has been doing this restoration work for about 35 years and says he loves being in the bush and regenerating it.
"I decided to run a Conservation Week event to show that everybody has the potential to make a worthwhile conservation effort no matter the size of the effort they put in," he says.
"For those putting in a small effort by planting a few trees, it will just take longer to achieve great things.
"The good thing about nature is that it is very much like compound interest - when you put a few trees in the ground they will grow while you are away so that when you return the larger trees will provide cover/shade for further plantings," he says.
"The secret is to keep up your efforts over many years and eventually the few trees you first planted have turned into a forest."
He says he hopes to be able to inspire people and give advice through his event - Small Conservation Efforts: Worthwhile Returns.
Steve says Conservation Week is important because it gives the opportunity for people to get out and see what others are doing for conservation.
"They can see different kinds of conservation activities and say 'What can I do?' or 'What would I like to do to start helping in these areas?'"
Catherine says it is important for the community to come together and acknowledge Conservation Week because no single part of the community can tackle our conservation challenges individually.
"We all have a role to play in protecting our taonga. We need to work together."
There are currently a few more spaces for kiwi aversion training for dogs on Sunday at TECT park. To book, email Cnoble@doc.govt.nz.
For more information on Conservation Week 2019 and the events being planned, go to www.doc.govt.nz.