Nature is right outside your door (and around the block)! So get your wild eyes on, get out exploring, and share the taonga (treasure) you’ve discovered on an on-the-street map!
What to do
Your mission is:
1. WATCH THIS!
Join Christian and Nova (and their buddies Poppy and Ruby) for the lockdown low-down on how to make a Neighbourhood Nature Map.
2. PLUG INTO THE POWER OF THE FLOWER
Gather the troops and your phone and hit the streets and parks around your place, scouting for the best that nature has to offer. On your walkabout keep an eye out for native trees, maybe you have a big old pohutukawa with a rope swing, or a kōwhai that's great for climbing.
If it's spring you might be lucky enough to see flowers, like this rewarewa. If so, look up and see if you can spot a tūī or bellbird: these nectar-rich flowers are like ice cream for our manu mates!
3. OPEN YOUR WILD EYES – BOO RU!
Where they snooze gives you clues: if you hunt around for where native animals sleep, you might score a sighting! Mokomoko (lizards and geckos) need leaf cover and like sunbathing on warm rocks, and birds like to chill out up in trees.
You never know who you’ll spot, or who'll spot you back: like this ruru (morepork) up way past his bedtime.
4. CAPTURE THE MOMENTS
Can you find any secrets that you can share with your neighbours, like the bouncy bush with moa to it than meets the eye? (The leaves on this pohuehue bush are wiry and springy.... that's not to make a trampoline, but to ward off being eaten by moa – woah, amazing eh? Find out more about moa here.)
Take photos of everything you spot on your mission, and log your finds for step #5.
5. CHALK THE WALK
When you get home, flick through your photos and decide what you want to include on your map. Grab some chalk and head outside to draw your findings on your footpath (aka community noticeboard).
6: GET DIRECTIONS
Draw directions on how to find the neighbourhood natural hot-spots. How many steps? In what direction? What time is best to visit? Any other clues you can leave?
Wild Eyes challenge: see if you can find Big Foot in this map?!
7. DO SOME FENCING
If you don’t have chalk at home, you can draw on bits of paper and stick your maps up on a nearby fence with tape (or even the footpath or your front window next to the teddy bear: anywhere potential nature explorers can see it).
8. MORE MAPS MAKE MORE TRACKS
Encourage your friends and classmates to do nature maps of their own, and if you come across one on your walks, make sure you check them out to learn what else is around. Maybe even leave a chalk tick, emoji, or note of your own!
And make sure you upload a photo of your Neighbourhood Nature Map to the Wild Eyes website!