5 ways to take care of Mother Earth this Mother’s Day

Publish Date : 06 May 2024
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Get involved at a beach-clean up day – like this one in Browns Bay – through organisations such as Sustainable Coastlines.

Where would we be without our mums? With Mother’s Day coming up on 12 May, why not spend the day with your mum or the mother figure in your life by enjoying one of Tāmaki Makaurau’s 4000 parks.

Throughout the year there are lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors with your mum – and the rest of the family – while also taking care of the other mother in our lives, Papatūānuku (Mother Earth).

Here are five ways to keep our region beautiful and show Mother Earth some love on Mother’s Day – and the rest of the year.

Make friends with your local park

Is it time you became besties with your local park? Many Auckland parks are cared for by groups who host working bees and volunteer events through the Friends of Parks network. Activities you could take part in include everything from weed control to growing kai in community gardens. To find a community park that’s in need of help, visit the Tiaki Tāmaki Makaurau / Conservation Auckland website – you can filter the parks by region and also by your interests. 

Become beachy keen

Our region boasts over 3,200km of coastline and three large harbours, and Aucklanders love to make the most of our coast. But as Aotearoa’s most-populated city we also need to make a special effort to keep our beaches and waterways clean so we can continue to enjoy them. There are many beach clean-up groups that are supported by Auckland Council, including Sustainable Coastlines, which holds regular clean-up events. If you’re visiting the beach or having a picnic nearby, make sure to take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Beach clean-ups make a huge difference, and if you want to see what progress your local area is making, check out the numbers at Litter Intelligence. This data-driven citizen scientist project tracks the types of litter collected and the litter density on particular beaches to help identify problems, as well as celebrate progress.

Grow the love on a tree planting day

Tree planting seasons run from May to September, and each year Auckland Council’s parks team and community groups run a range of planting events across Tāmaki Makaurau. Tree planting helps create habitat for native fauna including birds, insects, lizards, frogs, and even the critically endangered pekapeka (long-tailed bat), which nest in established canopy trees.

Tree planting also helps with erosion control and improves water quality, in turn helping our native aquatic life. To get involved, check out the Auckland Parks Facebook page for all upcoming events.

Local volunteer for Friends Of Parks.

Volunteer in a local park near you through the Friends of Parks programme.

Dune the right thing

You don’t need to watch blockbuster movies to see dramatic dune-scapes. Tāmaki Makaurau’s dune ecosystems – such as those at Te Henga / Bethells Beach and Te Ārai Regional Park – have cinematic beauty that needs protecting. Native coastal vegetation and dunes are critical to stabilising our coastlines, but these areas are also some of Aotearoa’s most threatened. To take part in dune grass or coastal forest planting projects in your region, check out the Auckland Conservation Directory. When visiting sand dunes, make sure you stick to designated pathways and don’t walk through grasslands – this will allow dune plant species such as kōwhangatara (spinifex) and pīngao (golden sand sedge) to work their magic.

Piha dunes

Protect our beautiful dune environments, such those in north Piha, by planting native grasses and other coastal vegetation with a community group. Credit Getty Images.

Walk the talk – learn from the pros on a ranger-guided walk

One of the best ways to help Mother Earth is to supersize your knowledge of biodiversity and conservation projects around the region so you can spread the word to friends and whānau. Kick start your eco-education by attending a guided tour with an Auckland Parks Ranger. For a calendar of upcoming events visit My Local Park – you could even bring your mum along!

Local ranger in local park.

Learn about the ecosystem in your local park and the pressures these areas face on a ranger-guided walk.

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