Kiwi Guardians at Port Jackson Campground
Image: DOC 

Introduction

Last year our Port Jackson Campground became one of 10 new Kiwi Guardian sites scattered around New Zealand.

Date:  14 February 2017

Kiwi Guardians with DOC ranger.
Coromandel Kiwi Guardians with DOC ranger

By Frederick Church, Camp Manager, Port Jackson Campground

The Toyota Kiwi Guardian programme is an activity programme for kids to learn about nature, earn cool rewards and go on epic family adventures!

There are so many exciting things to do at Port Jackson and over the summer this year a lot of new young "Kiwi Guardians" have been learning about conservation and taking part in the Guardian activities either by themselves, in a group or with a DOC ranger.

Some of the activities include observing the local birdlife such as the Caspian terns feeding, or looking for animal or bird tracks on the beach each morning, walking along the stoat trap lines with the ranger and learning about how DOC traps stoats, rats and other pests as a part of its pest control obligations.

There are group activities also, building driftwood sculptures or sandcastles and learning about where driftwood comes from and how the beach system changes after a high tide or heavy sea.

Kids building driftwood sculptures.
Building driftwood sculptures

Checking traps.
Checking the stoat trap lines with the ranger

Hidden away in the campground is a Kiwi Guardian post with a special code word which the young Guardians must seek out, and once home they can log onto the Kiwi Guardians web site, type in the code and answer questions related to their Guardian activities. By doing this they will receive a Kiwi Guardians medal and a Kiwi Guardians certificate.

The fun doesn't stop there though as there are a number of activities that the Guardians can do at home as well from the Take action webpage. Activities like attracting lizards to your garden, War on Weeds, becoming a pest detective and building weta motels.

This is one of many new initiatives we are implementing throughout the Coromandel as a part of our community engagement and education outreach, and based on the enthusiasm of our local and visiting young Kiwi Guardians it looks like we are off to a great start!

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