School students from local primary and secondary schools will plant another thousand native seedlings at Anzac Drive Reserve this week while environmental artists Martin Hill and Philippa Jones create a life size sculpture on site.
Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON) who want to turn the Avon River red zone into a city-to-sea eco-reserve and multi-purpose river park are collaborating on the event with Sustainable Coastlines, Phoenix Organics, Ngāi Tahu, Department of Conservation and Christchurch City Council.
“Its great to have everyone working together on this – when it comes to re-inventing the red zone it showcases both what can be done and how we can do it.
“We have already planted over two thousand native plants and a small community garden and orchard as part of the Mahinga Kai Exemplar. It’s great to have an organisation like Sustainable Coastlines recognise the importance of this work and include it in their national programme,” says Evan Smith Co-Chair of AvON.
Commissioned by Phoenix Organics, the sculptors will create their exhibit from organic materials in the waterway alongside Anzac Drive as part of The Love Project.
“The Love Project is all about developing new solutions to help clean up and maintain waterways throughout New Zealand. Our mission is to inspire, educate and help Kiwis of all ages to look after the rivers and beaches we love,” says Sam Judd, founder and CEO of Sustainable Coastlines.
The event will take place from 10am on Friday 31 July and include students from Shirley Boys and Avonside Girls High Schools and Waitākiri and Cotswold Schools along with corporate and local volunteers.
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 greater Christchurch. We aim to create a place of hope and inspiration for the people of Christchurch by restoring health and vitality to our river and its lands.”
empty breezes wander
streets where the windows
of silent houses gaze
without any expectations
there was no time
for farewells only the
hurried leavings come
quickly don’t turn back
nothing is left here now
yet around abandoned
playgrounds children’s laughter
lingers making an invitation
to come plant grow picnic
forage among the stories of
those who stayed growing
swimming singing roosting
through sunshine rains and mist
filling the breezes with hope
Teoti Jardine, 29/05/14