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Wellington Children’s Garden campaign launches

NEWS RELEASE
12 February 2014

Wellington Children’s Garden campaign launches

A project to build a Children’s Garden in Wellington will be launched by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Cr Helene Ritchie at the Botanic Garden tomorrow (Thursday).

A campaign to raise $2.5 million is being led by the Friends of the Wellington Botanic Garden and already $800,000 has been committed – $750,000 from the Plimmer Trust and $50,000 by the Lagoda Legacy.

Mayor Wade-Brown says the Children’s Garden will be a world-class interactive garden where children can explore, discover and connect with nature. “It’s going to be a living classroom where children will learn about plants and how we need them to survive.

“City kids can lose sight of where our food comes from – and the fact that we use plants to make the clothes we wear, the houses we live in and for medicines.

“We need children to make these connections and protect our environment. They will become the guardians of our precious green spaces. This ambitious project will connect with other Wellington nature spaces like the Zoo, Zealandia, community gardens, schools gardens and Enviroschools.”

Cr Ritchie, the Council’s Environment Committee Chair, urges people to get behind the Friends campaign to raise the money for the garden. “This is a unique opportunity to encourage environmental awareness in children. Wellington Botanic Garden – and botanic gardens across the world – realise how important their teaching role is.”

The Children’s Garden will encourage hands-on exploration of plants and their uses. Children will be able to harvest food, make compost and learn how to grow plants. It will have purpose-built teaching spaces which children will help to design.

Design tenders have been called for the garden, which will be built on a 1500sq m hillside site near the Treehouse Visitor Centre and plant nursery.

The first sod is scheduled to be turned in November and the garden will be built by the middle of 2015. The official opening will be in February 2016 once the new plants are established.

People can donate online through the Wellington City Council website Wellington.govt.nz

The launch will be held at the Treehouse Visitor Centre, Wellington Botanic Garden, from 5-6.30pm tomorrow (Thursday 13 February).

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