“Adopt the Avon” Brings Christchurch Together
Canoeists, multisporters, rowers and recreational paddlers are joining forces with community and environmental groups to support the biggest urban waterway clean up ever undertaken in Christchurch.
At last year's pilot clean-up, 250 volunteers collected 3.3 tonnes of litter from five kilometres of Christchurch river banks.
In 2016, over 50 organisations have committed to “The Mother of All Clean Ups,” taking place on the waterways of Christchurch. Avon-Ōtākaro Network is coordinating efforts from Barbadoes Street to Bridge Street with Sport Canterbury and East Lake Trust. Citywide partners include Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust, Ōpāwaho-Heathcote Network, CityCare Ltd, CCC, ECan, Student Volunteer Army and DOC.
“Our waterways inspire us all in different ways,” says East Lake Trust Chair David Goodman. “And the chance to make a difference to their future brings us all together.”
Several organisations involved have developed specific proposals for the future use of the residential red zone. These proposals range from the Eden NZ Project, to Nature Play, Greening the Red Zone, Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park and a flatwater reserve for recreation, sport and leisure – for people of all ages.
As Avon-Ōtākaro Network Co-Chair Evan Smith points out: “These proposals are complementary. They all fall within the Avon-Ōtākaro Network's grand vision for a river park and eco-reserve in the Ōtākaro red zone.”
Sport Canterbury Chief Executive Julyan Falloon is also an East Lake Trustee.
“Dragonboating, waka ama, triathlon, multisport, canoeing and rowing have all expressed support for the vision of a flatwater facility. Despite their enthusiasm, however, they share East Lake’s primary interest in consultation.
“The most important step toward the future of this land is hearing what the community has to say.”
Falloon adds that while sport may benefit, the spinoffs relating to mental health, physical activity and community recreation are the Trustees’ greatest motivation for the work they have undertaken, volunteering time over the past two years to canvas community organisations and individuals around the proposal.
Saturday 7 May 2016
“The Mother of All Clean Ups”
Avon-Ōtākaro Network www.avon.org.nz
East Lake Trust www.sportcanterbury.org.nz/eastlake
Water For Life www.waterforlife.org.nz
Greening the Red Zone www.greeningtheredzone.nz
Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park www.avonotakaroforestpark.co.nz