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River of Flowers returns in 2013

February 8, 2013

MEDIA RELEASE

River of Flowers returns in 2013

The River of Flowers will return on 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 rivers at 15 sites 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 has been 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. Already this year community organisations have identified 13 sites along the Avon and Heathcote 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.
“Rivers and waterways help to define our city and play an important role in connecting communities. Last year the River of Flowers helped bring thousands of people together to share, reflect and connect. This year I expect that even more people will take part,” 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.

The following sites have so far been confirmed:
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

As the number of sites may increase it is recommended that people go to www.healthychristchurch.org.nz for an up-to-date list.
People are asked to bring their own flowers and notes to tie onto the Trees of Hope.
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.
ENDS

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