News, Events and Culture

Passport to Play Palmy a huge success

Monday February 20 2017

Passport to Play Palmy, a parent-led project funded by the Palmerston North City Council’s Placemaking initiative, has seen hundreds of children get out and about in the city’s parks over the summer months.

Photo shows Saskia Vullings with her family and the Mayor.

Four-year-old Saskia Vullings had a great time exploring Palmy's parks with her family this summer.

Designed to get people active in the great outdoors, Passport to Play Palmy encouraged kids to collect stamps from ten bright orange posts located in the city’s favourite parks. The Passport was also full of free, fun things to do while out and about. 

“We’re blown away by how successful the project has been,” says Jeff Baker, Senior Planner at the Council. “The Passports were distributed via the City Library, i-Site and Te Manawa in December and 660 were completed and entered into our prize draw in early February.”

The winner of the $500 voucher, four year old Saskia Vullings, had a great time exploring with her family. When asked by Mayor Grant Smith which park was her favourite, she replied “the butterfly one” (Apollo Park). Her parents were thrilled with the prize and said they enjoyed getting outside and finding parks they didn’t know existed.

“This is such a great initiative and I’d like to thank Heather Knox, Kate Parlane and Helen Page for all their hard work helping to make it happen,” says Mayor Smith. “It’s a great example of what’s possible when the Council and community work together to promote our city and get people out there enjoying everything we have on offer.” 

Of the 660 Passports returned many had been carefully decorated, with one including photos taken in all ten of the parks.  The project generated plenty of interest on Facebook with over 800 likes and more than 2,000 people visited the Council’s website to find out more. 

“The Passport was designed to help kids get outdoors, enjoy nature, and develop a sense of adventure, and it’s clear from looking at the returned Passports that they did just that,” says Mr Baker.

“Heather and Kate are also the driving force behind the hugely successful Palmy Rocks initiative which has encouraged people to get out and about and explore the city. More than 6,000 people joined the Palmy Rocks Facebook group with many sharing pictures of their kids with the rocks they’d found.”

Heather Knox is delighted with how well the two initiatives have gone.

“We’ve had plenty of feedback that families would go to parks to find their Passport stamps but also spend time hiding their own and searching out others’ painted rocks while they were at it. We loved how the two activities worked together in this way.”

The Council’s Placemaking Initiative is a community-based approach to improving neighbourhoods and reinventing public spaces. It’s about getting people involved in making the most of their community’s assets.

The Council’s planning team is always keen to hear from people who would like to try something new in their community. For more information visit pncc.govt.nz/placemaking