Supporting communities  |  19 Aug 2020

Christchurch’s rainbow community will have the chance to go green at a volunteer planting event that's a first for the city.

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are invited to work alongside Christchurch City Council park rangers at Plant with Pride, planting native trees in the Styx Loop Conservation Park in Marshland on Saturday 22 August from 10am until 12pm.

The event is being organised by Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) and the New Zealand Aids Foundation (NZAF) with support from the Council. 

The goal is to help restore the riparian margins of the Styx Pūharakekenui River while also providing an opportunity to socialise and enjoy being in nature.  

CVNZ Regional Co-ordinator Hamish Fairbairn says it’s the first time it has organised a volunteer event with the rainbow community. The idea came from a member of the organisation who generously donated some eco-sourced plants to give away.

“The aim of the event is to de-stress, relax and spend some time outside with friends.''

NZAF Regional Manager Alex Anderson says it’s a trailblazing event that aligns with the foundation’s wellbeing goals.

“It’s a chance for people in the rainbow community to be safe, be seen, and be themselves while reconnecting with the environment and getting active. It’s also a way to give time and energy and keep learning. I think it’s amazing because there are so many benefits. 

“It’s a really exciting initiative that shows the Council and CVNZ want to engage with the rainbow community.”  

Council Parks and Programmes Manager Kate Russell agrees.  “We recognise there are diverse communities in Christchurch and we want to make sure everyone feels welcome to come along and reap the wellbeing benefits of our planting events in parks and green spaces.”

• Saturday 22 August, 10-12pm. Meet at 62 Turners Rd, Ouruhia, Styx Loop Conservation Park. Look for the CVNZ flag. Wear warm clothes and gumboots, bring a cup for hot drinks, and gardening gloves if you have them. Gloves and tools will be provided. Register here.