Wellington Scoop

Regional councillor wants us to return to nature, for our mental health

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
Mental Health Awareness Week is a timely reminder of the invaluable role te taiao plays in maintaining a balanced mental health and general wellbeing, says Councillor Prue Lamason.

‘Return to nature’ is a theme of this week, an element our region is fortunate to be surrounded by in abundance, thanks to our regional parks and other natural resources.

Councillor Lamason says: “During these unprecedented times it’s really important if we have the opportunity that we try to get back to nature, which is a great way to relax and relieve stress.

“The cool thing about our region is we have heaps of different parks that are free and host a range of activities and needs for our diverse community.”

The regional council’s Wainuiomata Recreational Area park ranger Ricky Clarkson says: “As someone who works out in the field almost every day, whether it’s maintaining trails or planting days with the community, I’m really lucky to get the benefits of being outdoors.

“We’ve got some real gems in our parks, a lot of people visit them to get away from the city and enjoy peaceful walks around the wetlands or swimming holes. The special thing about our parks like the Wainuiomata Recreation Area is you can literally taste the cleaner air and most of the time the only sounds you can hear are the calls of the birds, the rustling of the trees or rushing rivers.”

Wainuiomata Recreational Area might be one of the most peaceful spots in the region, yet it has one of the busiest dark skies in the universe, making it a perfect location for stargazing and astrophotography.

The regional council will be hosting its ‘Lights out’ event on 10 October, a chance for locals to get lost in the peaceful exploration of the observable universe.

With over nine regional parks and forests in the Wellington region, there are 50,000 hectares that offer whānau and the community the chance to reset, explore and refocus on what’s important. There are endless opportunities to reconnect with nature by finding a park that suits your needs by visiting: http://www.gwrc.govt.nz/parks/

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  1. Casey, 23. September 2020, 21:29

    The very same Cr. Lamason who voted in 2014 to replace the non polluting trolley buses in Wellington City with 16 year old Euro 3 diesel cast offs from Auckland.

    One can only imagine that the mental and physical health of those breathing in the extra noxious gases from such buses was made even worse.

  2. michael, 25. September 2020, 0:09

    All very well leaving the city to go tramping out in the regional parks, but what about the inner-city residents facing not only the dreadful pollution from the old diesel buses, but also a lack of green space so far below international standards it is becoming a crisis. What about their mental and physical health?