Park events spark night ‘n’ day environmentalism

  • Published Date 07 Aug 2020

Greater Wellington Regional Council has created a series of Dark Sky events at Wainuiomata Recreation Area to celebrate and emphasise the importance of protecting our night skies and biodiversity.

Light pollution is a very real threat to native species, its important the new generation values the crucial role of night-time ecosystems, says Ricky Clarkson, Greater Wellington park ranger.

“Many people don’t realise artificial light disrupts ecosystems by affecting species’ reproduction cycles, feeding behaviours, sleep, navigational abilities and safety from predators,” says Ricky.

“In line with the extensive restoration and protection work we conduct, these playful Dark Sky events aim to get the hapori wh?nui (community) out of the city and into nature.”

Held in partnership with Wellington Astronomical Society, these four events cover a range of activities from star gazing, night-time photography and insights into M?ori astronomy.

Last week, the first event “Night Time Mysteries” kicked off at Wainuiomata-Orongorongo water collection area’s focussing on the forest at night, water history and the conservation underway for North Island brown kiwi, which is carried out by Remutaka Conservation Trust.

Greater Wellington councillor, Prue Lamason says, “These starlight outings offer a safe and friendly environment for families to learn about a range of conservation topics and m?tauranga M?ori concepts, where there is a wealth of interconnected knowledge around sustainability, astronomy and wellbeing through a deep cultural connection with te taiao.

“It’s an awesome chance for people, who might not always have the opportunity, to strengthen a diversity of relationships with our natural environment,” adds Cr Lamason.

For more information on Greater Wellington’s next Dark Sky event visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1418037441720575/, or to learn about the Dark Sky initiative https://www.darksky.org/.

Updated November 12, 2020 at 12:28 AM

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