Conservation Week actions for kids

Department of Conservation —  11/09/2022

Conservation Week 2022 encourages us to take action for nature, and what better time to get kids involved to act too?

Have you ever heard of Toyota Kiwi Guardians? It’s an activity-based conservation programme we run in partnership with Toyota New Zealand that rewards children for connecting with nature. 

Tamariki (Children) can earn and collect medals by completing conservation actions or going on a guided adventure. Many of our Toyota Kiwi Guardian actions relate to our Conservation Week actions; check them out below.  

Growing native plants is a great way to get to know our natural biodiversity here in Aotearoa, New Zealand.  

Pot plants are great if you are short on space, plus they are an easy way to bring the outdoors indoors and connect with nature. Discover a few native plants you could try growing in pots at home here.

Get the kids involved by encouraging them to grow and nurture some native seeds to earn a Seed Grower medal. Together you could even help New Zealand with its goal to plant 1 billion trees by 2027 and, at the same time, collect a Toa Tiaki Rākau Tree Planter medal.

Toa Tiaki Rākau Tree Planter action medal
Otukaikino tree planting. 📷 : James Mortimer

Acting for nature and protecting our spaces can be as easy as taking a moment to pick up rubbish

Rubbish can be found everywhere, and we all know it’s terrible for the environment – it harms our land, soil, waterways, and wildlife. It’s an overwhelming task for any one individual to pick up. But if we work together, we can protect and restore the beauty and health of our natural spaces.

Here in Aotearoa, we are surrounded by water! From awa (rivers and streams) to roto (lakes) and the moana (sea), wherever you might be, you are never very far from wai (water). Find a water source near you and earn a Toa Tiaki Wai Water Champion medal.

Toa Tiaki Wai Water Champion action medal
Lachlan cleaning up a beach 📷 : Becs Gibson

Whilst our Water Champions are out and about, they could also be getting involved with citizen science, helping our scientists monitor our magnificent marine environments and earning another medal. 

Our coastlines are teeming with unique and fascinating species, each with their own role in our coastal ecosystems. Marine Metre Squared is a fun and easy way to get involved in scientific monitoring of your local coastal environment.

Blake Inspire Programme for Teachers MM2
Blake Inspire Programme for Teachers completing MM2. 📷: Marine Metre Squared

The Toa Tiaki Taiao medal can be earnt by getting family and friends into nature. Ever thought of volunteering? There are hundreds of conservation groups around the country. They do vital work, from restoring forests, coastlines and wildlife to managing huts, tracks and historical places.

Taking action not only benefits nature but our own well-being as well. Ka ora te whenua, ka ora te tangata – when the land is well, the people are well. When Papatūānuku thrives, we thrive.