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River of Flowers – An opportunity to reflect

February 21, 2013


River of Flowers – An opportunity to reflect
The River of Flowers will return tomorrow (February 22, 2013) to provide communities with the opportunity to reflect on the last two years and look forward to the future.

Michelle Whitaker, Healthy Christchurch coordinator, says that the inaugural River of Flowers event was held last year on the first anniversary of the February 22nd earthquake.

“Last year thousands of Cantabrians threw flowers into waterways across Christchurch. The event provided a great opportunity for people to connect with each other and share their experiences and hopes for the future,” Ms Whitaker says.

Ms Whitaker says there was lots of suggestions and interest from the community in hosting River of Flowers sites.

“A unique feature of the River of Flowers is that it is driven by each local community. This year community organisations have identified 15 sites along the Avon, Heathcote, and Liffey rivers and at the estuary to hold commemorations.”

Evan Smith from the Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON) says that the River of Flowers acknowledges the importance of rivers and waterways in Christchurch.

“Two years on from the February quake, it is still vital to recognise the importance of Otakaroro to the wellbeing of our communities. In fact even more so now with the lower Avon at such a very low ebb – it is time for the tide to turn and to restore the river back to full health again and our communities with it,” Mr Smith says.

Between 8am and 8pm on February 22, 2013 people will be able to drop flowers at hosted sites along Christchurch rivers and at the estuary. From 12.30pm to 1.30pm local community groups will host the sites and encourage people to write messages on a Tree of Hope. At 12.51pm two minutes silence will be held.

At least seven schools will be attending the various sites along Christchurch waterways. Pipe bands will also be playing Amazing Grace at the Botanic Gardens Site and the New Brighton Site (Owles Terrace) immediately after the moment of silence at 12.51pm

Confirmed sites are:

1. O-Tautahi /The Bricks: Barbados Street Bridge

2. Medway Street Foot Bridge Site: SW bank on River Road

3. Estuary: Yacht Club Car Park, Moncks Bay

4. Owles Terrace Reserve, Bexley

5. Horseshoe Lake: Opposite bus stop between Oregon and Tangmere Places

6. Heathcote River opposite The Princess Margaret Hospital

7. Riccarton Bush: River Bank between Kahu Road and Riccarton House

8. Botanic Gardens: Foot bridge between Hospital and Peace Bell

9. Woolston Radley Park: near the south end of the Catherine Street footbridge

10. Kerrs Reach

11. Beckenham Park (meet at cricket pavilion)

12. Riverbank opposite Eureka Street

13. Riverbank opposite Avonside Girls High

14. Liffey River in Lincoln township

15. New Brighton / South Shore: Estuary bank at the corner of Ebbtide and Caspian Streets

For more information on each site go to www.healthychristchurch.org.nz

The River of Flowers commemoration project is led by Healthy Christchurch and the Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON), and supported by CERA, CanCern, the Canterbury District Health Board, the Mental Health Foundation, One Voice Te Reo Kotahi, the Council of Social Services, and Moffatts Flower Company.


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