Community Engagement with ‘The Wonder Gardens’ exhibition
Today we received some photographs and information from Koromiko Kindergarten in Hāwera regarding how they enjoy public parks in South Taranaki. Here’s some feedback from teacher Gwyneth Barker, “Over the years, Koromiko Kindergarten has utilised some of the South Taranaki public parks for specific events or to take the children on excursions.
We began to host our yearly Christmas Party at King Edward Park, in Hawera, a few years ago. The children enjoy playing on a range of playground equipment that is different to what they have available daily at our Kindergarten. A shared picnic morning tea creates a great atmosphere and then there is the excitement of Father Christmas visiting us. We always have a large group of family members – parents, grandparents and others – so that it is a social occasion for our wider whanau also.
The venue is ideal for us for a number of reasons. The playground equipment captures the children’s interest and keeps them engaged in physical activity for a sustained period of time. The pleasant and well maintained grounds and gardens provide a good setting for the party. We often come across other groups of school or early childhood children also having an event at the park. We have found the staff to be helpful in arranging for us to have access to power so that we can have music to accompany the children and teachers singing songs for their parents and Father Christmas. Being close to the Kindergarten, it is convenient to reach.
We have also, occasionally, accessed Hollard Gardens as a destination for an excursion. There are many features that are unique to Hollard Gardens that the children appreciate – from its long slide to the giant’s chair to the large areas of lawn to run around in. During strolls around some of the gardens, we have discovered plants and flowers, sculptures and native birds. This is also a venue where the children have fun in the playground and gardens, stretching their imaginations, exploring the environment, using all their senses to experience everything around them and trying new physical challenges.
As a Kindergarten, we appreciate the many public parks that are available to us. The fact that they are accessible, free to use and well maintained makes them great assets for South Taranaki. Setting activities and excursions in the parks fits within our philosophy of teaching the children about environmental sustainability, valuing the gifts of Papatuanuku and our all being Kaitiaki who care for living things in our, and other, environments”, Gwyneth Barker, Teacher at Koromiko Kindergarten in Hāwera.
For more about The Wonder Gardens exhibition check out the catalogue below. Come wander the wonder garden with us. Explore the museum’s magical indoor park where together we remember how generations of South Taranaki pleasure-seekers have enjoyed the public spaces that form a background to our lives. Come play, stroll, remember, relax, and seek out the magic of our locally-loved parks and gardens with us. This exhibition has been funded by the Taranaki Regional Council (TRC). Season: May – November 2017 – Temporary Gallery.