Get involved in magical Parks Week 01 March 2019 Our Council is proud to be part of Parks Week this year, and we have set up three magical parks across our District to celebrate the vital role parks play in our communities. Our celebration this year includes an augmented reality game for kids that turns some of the parks within our District into digital fantasy lands. "Magical Park is a geo augmented reality game like Pokemon Go, that children can play on a smart phone using an app that you can download free," says our Community Facilities Manager Derek Thompson. "Children typically cover from 700m to 2km to play a 30-60 minute game." Geo AR Games, the maker of Magical Park, describes the game as suitable for children 6-11 years old, turning a normal park into a digital fantasy land and connects physical activity and the use of screens, so it is a fun way for young children to be active. "This is our third year being involved and those, both young and old, have enjoyed the adventure which allows kids to get excited while exercising and captures their imagination,” says Mr Thompson. The magical parks will run from 9 - 17 March 2019 and can be found at: Whangamata Aickin Rd Sports Reserve Mercury Bay Sports Park Thames Rhodes Park "The real principle is that we want to get children active in our parks and off the couch," says Mr Thompson. "The choice of locating the game at our sports parks is intentional as it will allow parents to train for sports, and instead of their child sitting in the car playing on a device, they can get outside and be active with their parents nearby." This year Parks Week aims to be even bigger and spread the word that: Visiting parks is good for your physical and mental well-being. Healthy parks are an essential ingredient for healthy people. Parks support health and well-being, enhance the ability to cope with and recover from illness and injury and help to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Parks build stronger and connected communities by providing places where people come together for leisure. Parks provide environmental benefits to our cities. To play, simply download the app from the App Store for iPhones or Google Play for Android phones. For more information on Parks Week see www.parks-week.org.