Parks and playgrounds, Volunteering  |  25 May 2022

With Arbor Day coming up on 5 June, we’re celebrating our volunteers who have helped to keep Christchurch flourishing over the past year.

Christchurch has seen lots of green growth in the past 12 months thanks to more than 184 community planting events and 665 community maintenance events held across the Garden City.

Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge says he is humbled when he sees the amount of volunteer hours that have gone into caring for our parks, with over 41,475 hours of volunteering over the last year.

“We are so thankful for our amazing volunteers who have gifted their time to contribute to the health of our greenspaces with not only planting but with continual maintenance.

“There is so much more to tree planting than just putting a tree in the ground. There is ongoing care and maintenance that is required and that is the critical part of the mahi to keep our trees surviving and thriving.’’

Papanui Bush during the first planting in 2018. Pictured above, the same piece of land four years on.

A mix of 40,000 trees, shrubs and grasses have been put into the ground since last year’s Arbor Day thanks to volunteers.

“Our community does an amazing job, and we love getting together with them to make our spaces look beautiful. There’s a real strong sense of community connection about it as well.’’

Volunteers have been actively involved in planting in areas such as Halswell Quarry, alongside the Pūharakekenui/Styx River and Ōpāwaho/Heathcote rivers, Ōruapaeroa/Travis Wetland, Southshore Spit and the Port Hills.

Another place that has benefitted from the work of volunteers is Papanui Bush, where the first planting took place on 27 May 2018. Fast-forward four years and the space looks very different.

“At the first planting event at Papanui Bush in 2018 we planted tōtara, mataī and kahikatea that had been donated by Riccarton Bush Trust. It’s now 2022 and the space looks completely transformed,’’ Mr Rutledge says.

“We’re always keen to encourage people to get involved with our planting days. It’s such important work and we really wouldn’t be able to achieve what we do without the support of our communities.’’

If you’re interested in attending a planting or maintenance event in the lead up to Arbor Day we have a range on offer:

  • Friday 27 May at Papanui Bush with Papanui Rotary
  • Saturday 28 May at Barnett Park with Te Ara Kura and Trees for Canterbury
  • Sunday 29 May at QEII with Eco-Action Trust
  • Saturday 4 June at Bowenvale with Port Hills rangers.