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Meeting to make Christchurch a true garden city

Media release

For immediate release

Meeting to make Christchurch a true garden city

Christchurch residents who want the rebuilt Christchurch to truly be a "garden city" are being urged to attend a meeting this Sunday (August 14) to start making that happen.

The meeting will look at how to ensure the Avon River red zone becomes parkland and reserve and is being organised by the River of Life Project, a community organisation.

River of Life spokesman Mark Gibson says the aim is to get all those enthusiastic about the vision of an Avon River Park together to share ideas and start working to turn it into a reality.

"This is our opportunity to complete and give authenticity to our claim to be New Zealand's 'garden city'," he said. "In 1850 the decision to lay aside what seemed a huge parcel of prime land to become Hagley Park was truly visionary.

"Now, out of the destruction wrought by the earthquakes of the past 10 months, we have the chance to be equally as visionary, and create an enduring ecological legacy for our children, grandchildren and generations to come."

Mr Gibson said the increasing enthusiasm for returning the red zone land to nature was a sign of growing ecological wisdom following the quakes. "People are aware what nature is capable of and know we need to better respect the nature of this land.

"Rather than spending millions of dollars fighting the land to try to force into an unnatural state, they want to work with it and create a place of value and beauty in truly unique and beautiful city."

He pointed to the result of a Facebook survey, asking what should happen to the red zone land. More than 95% of the 1156 respondents said it should become a reserve/park with an emphasis on nature and leisure.

As well, he said, the Green Party was now officially advocating for the land to become a park, stating in its report The Future of Christchurch ".the Recovery Plan should 'green the red zone', with an Avon River Park running through the city to the coast for public enjoyment and local food resilience".

Landscape designer and Avon River Park advocate Di Lucas will outline her vision for Avon River Park at the meeting, as will Carlie Hannah, parish priest of New Brighton Anglican Parish and a resident of the Bexley red zone.

However, Mr Gibson said the main aim was to pull together the ideas of all those present and work out the way forward. He urged all residents who want to create a place of beauty around the Avon River to attend and share their ideas.

The meeting will be held at New Brighton Community Gardens, 136 Shaw Ave, from 4pm to 6.30pm on Sunday, August 14.


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