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Gisborne District Council Reaps Parks Week Award

Gisborne District Council has won the Parks Week Marketing Award 2020. Parks Week brings together hundreds of organisations across New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the important role parks play in creating liveable cities and successful communities.

“We conducted a series of public events around the region from 7-15 March, just before lockdown hit,” said De-Arne Sutherland, Liveable Spaces Manager at Gisborne District Council.

Council partnered with Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti, Te Puawaitanga o Ruatoria Trust and Recreational Services to hold a pop-up play event at Te Puawaitanga Park in Ruatoria, which included activities, a free barbecue and showcased new play equipment at the park.

“Whaia Tītīrangi also held rongoā, a Māori medicine workshop with a focus on the benefits of eco-sourcing seed stock, supported by the Women’s Native Tree Planting Project.

“Other events were held during the week, including a workshop on looking after irises at our Green Flag Award-winning Gisborne Botanical Gardens.”

Ms Sutherland said the numbers of people who turned out for the workshops was an indicator not only of how well Council had promoted the events, but the importance and high regard local people hold for our parks, gardens and open spaces.

Marijke Warmenhoven, a trustee of the Te Puawaitanga o Ruatoria Community Trust, and an advocate for parks and playgrounds in Ruatoria, said she was delighted with the award, which honoured her and others’ work over many years.

Karl Nesbitt, Parks & Open Spaces Programme Manager at Recreation Aotearoa, said parks are paramount in conserving our wellbeing, particularly over lockdown.

“The Awards are one way in which we can honour them in that vital role,” he said.

“GDC showed enthusiasm and creativity in their Parks Week programme and we were impressed by the way they encouraged their community to get involved through their marketing and promotion.

“Their staff went above and beyond to get the message across. We are thrilled to be able to award GDC the 2020 Parks Week Marketing Award.”

Ms Sutherland said it was wonderful that the whole team had been recognised nationally for the effort they put in.

“We pulled together to deliver the programme and in a very short time had events and workshops sorted out, along with the logistics of how it was going to be delivered.”

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