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Public events mark Parks Week in Australia and New Zealand
With more than 100 public events being held over nine days in towns, cities and outdoor spaces across New Zealand and Australia, Parks Week starts today (Saturday 5th March).
New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) Chief Executive Andrew Leslie explains that the week )which runs until 13th March) brings together councils and other organisations to highlight the vital role of parks in communities.
Leslie (pictured below) states “parks make cities more liveable, and help communities thrive by providing people of all ages with opportunities to be healthy and socialise.
“The benefits of having access to green spaces like parks, gardens, bush and forests are both social and economic. If people are in better shape, both physically and psychologically, that reduces the burden on the health system.
“Natural spaces where people can walk, exercise and play, are a draw for locals and for tourists."
The extended week, which is being coordinated by NZRA and Parks and Leisure Australia, includes a website www.parks-week.org which showcases some of the higher profile events, while many councils, sports trusts, businesses and government agencies are also running events in both New Zealand and Australia.
The recent Sport NZ Active NZ 2013/14 survey of recreation participation in New Zealand found that 80% of New Zealand adults had participated in sport or recreation in one or more natural settings in a 12-month period. Half participated in parks, in towns and cities. Parks are similarly popular in Australia.
Leslie added “it makes absolute sense for organisations in New Zealand and Australia to work together to raise awareness of the benefits parks provide and the need to protect and continue investing in open spaces.”
Award-winning UK film maker David Bond, best known for the film Project Wild Thing, will be in New Zealand during Parks Week to speak at a range of events, from screenings of his film to workshops with councils and government agencies.
Bond, whose films gave rise to The Wild Network, a movement aimed at getting children outdoors will be attending Parks Week events in the following locations:
• Dunedin – 7th March
• Christchurch – 8th March
• Wellington – 9th March
• Upper Hutt- 10th March
• Auckland – 11th to 12th March
For more information on these events go to www.parks-week.org.nz
4th March 2016 - PARKS WEEK A CHANCE TO CELEBRATE HAMILTON’S GREEN SPACES
3rd February 2016 - PARKS WEEK TO ADVOCATE FOR THE VALUE OF THE OUTDOORS
4th December 2015 - NZRA AND PLA COMBINE TO REVIVE PARKS WEEK
3rd September 2015 - SPORT NZ SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS THE VALUE OF OUTDOOR RECREATION
9th March 2015 - PARKS WEEK 2015 SET TO HIGHLIGHT VALUABLE ROLE OF OPEN SPACE
21st December 2014 - NZRA HIGHLIGHTS THE VALUE OF COUNCIL RECREATION INVESTMENT
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