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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Love Thy Park : Saving our parks by having fun



Anya has a lifelong involvement in dance and drama, studying theatre and performing arts as a scholarship student in Europe. As well as dance, Anya is involved in triathlons, swimming, surfing and more recently the fight discipline of muay thai: she practices hatha yoga as a companion and balance to her other fitness exploits and relishes in the peace and calm she finds on the yoga mat. Anya refers to herself as a "beginner yogini" and is excited by the challenge and healing aspects that yoga brings to her . Anya also  volunteers her time to environmental and social causes.  Anya works at our cross street based HQ in Auckland, New Zealand.

There are few things that make me more excited than the prospect of  face painting and a picnic, but when you get to combine these things into helping out environment then it's kind of like winning the lottery of awesome past times + joyful helping!

Most countries have an established parks system, and New Zealand is no different; in Auckland where we'ar is based locals are literally spoiled for choice when it comes to public parks in both an urban and rural setting. One of my favourites is the Waitakere RangesRegional Park, which has some of the best bush walks, views and tramps in Auckland city New Zealand. Being publically funded means that they can have full time rangers and education programmes in place, but for extended community work + upkeep and special projects they rely on volunteers and fundraising.
Images from top: Kids Day festivities taking place, Arataki visitors center with its beautiful Maori Carvings,views from the center, Anya rocking her face paint in one of our old season we'ar empress tops- love the look? try our current season armadillo top x x x

I was lucky enough to volunteer for a "kids day" to fundraise for the Arataki Visitors centre that acts a  gateway for the Waitakere Ranges RegionalPark, an annual event that raises money for work done through the park including the beautiful traditional Maori carvings. For me that meant heading along one Sunday and painting native birds, plants, spiders and insects on little kids faces in between them learning about the environment, recycling, our native flora and fauna and chowing down on home made cakes and juice.  It was amazing to see the support that is given to the center from its local community.

By the end of the day I became a pro at painting lizards and butterflies but also was overwhelmed by the passion these little 4 - 8 year old children had for this park and preserving the beauty that was held there. Whilst painting pink butterflies on their faces, they told me all about their favourite birds, the recycling + compost programmes they had at home and their favourite walks through the native forests and picnic spots wherein. In a world where we are challenged by finding the balance between growth and environmental health it filled me with a lot of hope to hear that this next generation are so mindful about the precious gifts that the planet has for them.

When I started to write this I was going to urge everyone to head out and volunteer their time at their local park, but really the best thing you can do is take your children, your little cousins or your nieces and nephews outdoors. Get them passionate about  the world around them, the beauty of nature and the delicate balance this planet is in. They are our future and our hope!

x x x
anya @ we'ar

In New Zealand? Forest and Bird run programmes for children, whilst scouts, brownies and guides also get kids passionate about the environment and the outdoors. what about we'ar and our environment? learn about how we'ar are using plant dyes to help protect our waterways from environmental harm and why we'ar are so passionate about organics,ethical trade and our environment.  

excited? check out the plant dye pieces in the online store

volunteering your time painting faces for children? Anya recommends the linen ink raja shorts "i got paint all over them and they scrubbed up perfectly, not to mention that the range of movement freed me up for post face painting cartwheels on the grass with the little ones!"

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