A project aimed at greening the Christchurch residential red zone has been launched.
Dozens of residents today pitched in to plant hundreds of native trees in the area and, in true red-zone fashion, gumboots and spades were essential.
Evan Smith used to live in the red zone. He was saddened by how the area looks now, so helped form a group to do something about it.
While the Government has not yet decided what will happen with the 5000 sections it red-zoned in 2011, Mr Smith and his team of volunteers hope to replant at least 16 hectares along the Avon River boundary with native plants.
"For the last three-and-a-half years we've been advocating to turn the red zone into an ecological reserve and a multi-purpose river park, and today really marks the start of that process," says Mr Smith.
And there was no shortage of people wanting to help today.
"It's going to be our children that are going to see the benefits of what we're doing today, defintely," says one volunteer.
"It's kind of something I feel quite strongly about, looking after the streams and rivers in the area," another volunteer says.
Mr Smith says it is fitting the project coincided with Matariki.
"That's the time when you reflect on what happened in the past and you start preparing for the future, and the new season, and so it's a really appropriate time that this happening right now."
And with a community vegetable garden also planted, it seems the once deserted and forgotten area may soon see a little more love again.
source: newshub archive