At 12 years of age Jordan Wilson is the youngest person to be granted a temporary land use licence for Christchurch’s Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor regeneration area.

His vision of creating a community garden was given the green light by Toitū Te Whenua/ Land Information New Zealand in July.

Since that time a number of local business have provided assistance toward the project, offering sponsorship and support such as tools, signage, soil, wood and vouchers to help get it under way.

“I’ve had Mitre 10 Papanui, Mitre 10 Ferrymead, Warehouse Eastgate, Phil Mauger, New Brighton Community Garden, Phoenix Printing, Baileys Tanks, Citycare and the Canterbury Community Garden Association all help out,” says Jordan.

“There’s also been many individuals at Toitū Te Whenua and in the community who I want to thank for helping.

“So far we’ve built four square garden beds as well as two long ones and we’ve been propagating some seeds as we work out a system for watering.”

His dream is to grow vegetables to distribute to the community and families in need. 

Inspired by family and friends, the Year 8 Chisnallwood Intermediate school pupil hopes other young people will be encouraged to gain an interest in gardening, sustainability and the environment.

“I enjoy helping people. I’m looking forward to getting people interested in gardening as well as giving fruit and vegetables to people in need.”

To follow Jordan’s progress visit the Avondale Community Garden Facebook page.

Since 2016, LINZ has made former residential red zone land available to community groups and organisations for more than 3000 short-term projects, events or land uses.

Recent projects include beehives, a Frisbee golf course and a temporary track for radio-controlled trucks and diggers.

The Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor regeneration area is also used by sports groups for events like bike races and orienteering.