What is Riverbend Refuge?
In response to the unprecedented opportunity to restore native riparian habitat throughout the proposed ‘Green Spine’, between 2018-2019 the Avon-Ōtākaro Network worked on ‘Riverbend Refuge’ in collaboration with Greening the Rubble, The Green Lab, Working Waters Trust, Richmond Community Garden Wood Ltd., and Enviroschools Waitaha Canterbury. The project aims to raise awareness of the many benefits of native plants on urban riverbanks, as well as restore mahinga kai values to the area.
This project included establishing native plantings and a pathway amongst the trees, formed by tree rounds inscribed with a poem by Teoti Jardine, with seating platforms for people to relax and enjoy the beautiful river, trees, and native wildlife.
City Council made the area available for transitional use, with Wood Ltd.’s Steffan Kraberger creating the concept and planting design.
What did the space use to be like?
While red-zoning was taking place with people still living there and others having their homes’ demolished, some residents started to do create two strips of guerilla native planting. This sent the message that the area should be used as an ecological restoration.
How is Riverbend Refuge continuing?
The Riverbend Refuge legacy continues on through the native plants and wildlife the plants have attracted, as well as the many other installments for people to connect with nature.