27 January 2011
Waikato’s celebrations for World Wetlands Day on February 5 will be based at Waipa district’s internationally renowned peat lakes.
The National Wetland Trust, Waipa District Council and Department of Conservation are planning a team-building event at Ohaupo’s Lake Serpentine Reserve, located off State Highway 3 between Hamilton and Te Awamutu.
The “Target 40 Wetland Challenge” will involve teams of four competing in a series of wetland-related games. Teams that earn more than 40 points will go in the draw to win prizes including a Maungatautari After Dark Experience valued at $360. The prize is sponsored by Mighty River Power.
Council’s manager community facilities Tony Roxburgh said the event was aimed at all age and interest groups, and was more than just a celebration of World Wetlands Day.
He said wetlands were important because they provide community and environmental benefits such as recycling nutrients, filtering and supplying freshwater, maintaining ground water levels and moderating extreme weather events like floods and droughts.
“Through all the fun, excitement and prize winning, we’ll be increasing public knowledge and appreciation of wetlands, so that people understand how they work and why it’s important to protect and restore them.”
The cost to enter the challenge is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 16, with all proceeds going to the National Wetland Trust’s project to construct a national wetlands centre at Lake Serpentine.
Registrations for the Target 40 Wetland Challenge can be made at www.wetlandtrust.org.nz
by phoning 0800 246 348 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Spectators are welcome to bring a picnic and watch the fun.
World Wetlands Day is on February 2 and marks the 1971 signing of the International Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (known as Ramsar sites) Three of New Zealand’s six Ramsar sites are located in the Waikato – Whangamarino Wetland, Kopuatai Peat Dome, and the Firth of Thames.