Visitors to the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary open day can have a real live kiwi experience and the opportunity to meet ‘The Bug Man’ Ruud Kleinpaste.
The live kiwi encounter is with our rarest kiwi, the rowi of which there are only approximately 375 in the wild, in Okarito on the West Coast.
General Manager Hudson Dodd says the annual open days at the Brook Sanctuary are a great way for locals and visitors to see what’s been happening at Nelson’s ‘most exciting conservation project’.
“The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary is a nationally significant project for the future of New Zealand’s rare and precious biodiversity, and it is right on our doorstep,” he says. “People in our region have a unique opportunity to get involved in an outstanding community initiative and at the same time make friends and spend time in the great outdoors.”
Hudson’s expecting a good crowd at the open day and he says people will be able to sign up as a member of the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust, register as a volunteer, or sponsor a fence post to help complete the pest-proof fence.
“After all the fund raising and the hard work it great to see the construction of the pest-proof fence happening,” he says. “Our volunteers are also doing a fantastic job building a track system through the Sanctuary.”
At the open day there will be interpretive walks on this network of tracks.
‘The Bug Man’ Ruud Kleinpaste, well known for his television and radio role as an expert on insects, will speak at midday, then lead guided walks during the afternoon. There will be an electric fishing demonstration in the Brook Stream at 11am, while in the afternoon DOC officers will offer an encounter with the rowi kiwi.
As well there will be the Tasman District Council’s Way2Go activity trailer, children’s entertainer, Faerie Lou, and live music by the Nelson Youth Jazz Quartet and Dan and Rich Kendrick of Smokefreerockquest. Refreshments will be available, including a BBQ, coffee, cake and ice cream and Brook Sanctuary sparkling lemonade by Bays Brewery.
In addition to attending the Sanctuary open day, Ruud Kleinpaste is presenting a slideshow talk titled, “Bugs in the System – Connecting Kids with Nature in the Age of Technology” on Saturday 21 March, in G Block at NMIT (the Media Arts Building). At this fundraising event Ruud will focus on the importance of environmental education in the age of technology and the exciting lessons to be learned from the natural world.
Visitors to the open day are encouraged to ride their bikes or take a free ride on the N-bus from the Whakatu Square bus depot on a special bus service running between 11am and 4pm, sponsored by Nelson Coach Lines (departing at 11:00am, 11:40am and 2:00pm).
Admission to this zero-waste event is by gold coin donation.