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akona ki te taiao

Eco-literacy & Outdoor Learning

Eco-Literacy is the ability to understand the natural systems that make life on earth possible. Understanding all the interconnections in Te Taiao that we see through the natural cycles of water, nutrients, air, predator, and prey dependencies that need to be in balance for a sustainable world. 

Eco-literacy starts with enjoyable experiences in the natural environment so that young children get to know the outside world. We cannot love Papatūānuku without knowing Papatūānuku. Investigating different environments is the next step and getting to know everything that is part of that environment builds knowledge.

Eco-literacy builds resilience as children understand the processes of the natural world. Being out in the environment planting, and learning helps children to feel hope for the future of the planet as they are taking action for it.


Youth Environmental Leadership

More schools are creating spaces for environmental activism to take place. We support several schools that encourage students to take leadership in advocating for the environment and a carbon-zero world. Our students of today are the leaders of tomorrow and we want them to be passionate advocates for the environment.

Citizen Biodiversity Monitoring

We can help you become a citizen scientist, no matter your age or experience. Scientific monitoring is a job that is vital to the success of our program, and it’s easy to learn.

Citizen scientists help us track our progress in protecting and enhancing the local natural ecosystems.

We have several types of biodiversity monitoring. They include:

  • Bird counts, both informal and biannual 5 Minute Bird Count

  • Reporting pest plants using eco-track

  • Surveying for pest animals using chew cards and tracking tunnels

  • Stream surveys

  • Water quality testing


Indigenous Ecology and Arts Wananga

The Indigenous Ecology and Arts Wananga (IEAW) is a collective of artists kaumātua, and community and school leaders. These artists and local organisations contribute their skills and resources to furthering ecological restoration and outdoor experiential learning.

We offer hands-on learning opportunities featuring a full range of arts disciplines, indigenous perspectives and ecological restoration practices. [Maori arts] and other Mātauranga Māori are important sources of knowledge and inspiration to understand native species and ecological restoration of the whenua. Western ecological sciences and ongoing community participation further support our collective efforts to protect and enhance natural areas.

Ecology Bike Trail

Cycle trails around the peninsula give cyclists access to views of the city as well as many of the reserves adjacent to the Waitematā and the Hauraki gulf/Tīkapa Moana. Much of our restoration work takes place adjacent to these cycleways. Follow the map and view the videos at each stop for an insight into the area and its history.


Devonport Peninsula Schools - Trees That Count

We currently work with 11 different schools and 5 early childhood education groups. Several have adopted reserves near their school and regularly take part in conservation and improvement work. Last year we planted trees with every school involved with the Restoring Takarunga Hauraki project and we also help them engage with eco-literacy learning.

If your school would like to get involved, please contact us here.

Water Quality Teams

We have six locations on the peninsula where we monitor water quality and post results into Auckland Council via Waicare - you can check results here (and they will soon be available on this website).

Starting with Achilles Reserve and Vauxhall School we work with groups from local Kura to think about where litter comes from, measure acidity, and oxygen levels, find insects and other stream life, check pollution levels of nitrates, nitrites and sulphates and monitor stream health through using our senses and checking the temperature.

This is citizen science that children can participate in, recording the changes happening in our environment as a result of local climate events and other influences, and learning how they can support good stream health.

These initiatives are supported by Whitebait Connection

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