As the finale to a bumper line-up of summer events, this year’s Parks Week offerings proved even more popular than last year, highlighting just how important getting off the couch and into open spaces is for our wellbeing.
Parks Week is an annual international celebration of the important role parks play – for people, communities, and the natural environment.
The KƒÅpiti Coast has a great many open spaces to explore, with Council maintaining more than 500 hectares of parks and sports grounds and almost 80 kilometres of walkways, cycleways, and horse riding paths. It has a high number of playgrounds per capita as well, with 49 dotted across the district.
Council’s focus this year was on organising events that provided an opportunity for people to connect socially and catered for all ages and interests.
“This year’s programme was inclusive, with something on offer for our different communities across the district. We wanted to not only showcase our stunning parks and reserves but also offer events that restore our social wellbeing,” says Cat Wylde, recreation facilities coordinator.
“We were blessed with great weather for our Acoustic in the Park series, with close to 1000 locals attending three evenings of free music and the final event held on a beautiful late summer’s eve this Saturday.
“Last week we also saw good numbers attend our Bilingual Story time at Mahara Place and the Park to Path fun run. Each summer we are building a bit more momentum with Parks Week events and people are really taking advantage of them – enjoying their local parks and reserves in a social way,” says Cat.
COVID-19 did put the brakes on the inaugural He Rangi Mokopuna Children’s Day event however, which had to be cancelled this year. But there are big plans for 2022, and the family-focused day will weave together Council’s facilities and staff with local groups and clubs.
A brief interlude of rain during Parks Week saw the postponement of 'It’s a Dog’s Life' to Thursday, March 18, at the dog park in ≈åtaki, which will round off the Parks Week events for the summer. Dog owners can challenge their furry friend on the agility equipment, alongside dog related stalls and giveaways from 5.30pm.