The Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON) is “over the moon” $15m has been committed to connect the city to the sea, along the Avon/Otakaro River corridor.
And it’s urging the residents of the East get involved in making sure this funding works for their communities and all of Christchurch.
The Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Trust today announced it was committing $15 million to connect the city to the sea with communities set to decide how the money is spent.
“I’m over the moon with this announcement,” says AvON co-chair Evan Smith.
AvON wants to see the Avon River residential red zone land become a publicly owned ecological and recreation reserve, linking Avon River Precinct in the CBD to the coast.
“While there is still much to be resolved about the residential red zone lands, there is no debate at all about the need for better connections and community building,” Smith said. “This announcement is a vitally important step to physically achieving that.”
AvON’s objectives include a number of proposals to connect communities such as “a broad corridor of restored natural habitat and a continuous network of pedestrian paths and cycle ways, as both a recreational and tourism asset”.
Fellow co-chair Mark Gibson said: “This funding, and the commitment to working with the community, helps to turn part of our vision into reality.”
AvON was keen to be involved in developing the connections and Gibson urged residents to also get involved in making it a reality. “This is a real opportunity to build our future together,” he said.
It follows the release last week of a study from Lincoln that values benefits of a city-to-sea river park at around a billion dollars over ten years.
Appeal Trust announcment details: http://www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz/blog/2013/10/appeal-trust-announces-largest-ever-grant
AvON is a not-for-profit group. Its vision is to “establish a community-driven science-informed living memorial to rejuvenate and nurture the long-term environmental, economic, community and spiritual wellbeing of the eastern suburbs and of those living throughout greater Christchurch. Our aim is to turn a tragedy into an opportunity, a polluted drain into a vibrant river system, and exhaustion and despair into hope and inspiration.”
www.avon.org.nz www.facebook.com/avonriverpark www.twitter.com/Avon_Otakaro
A copy of the study from Lincoln University can be found here: www.lincoln.ac.nz/Documents/LEaP/AvON%20report.pdf