Crowdfunding campaign launched to raise $60,000 for Christchurch's 'edible park'

An artist's impression of the "edible park" orchard proposed for Christchurch.

An artist's impression of the "edible park" orchard proposed for Christchurch.

The developer of Christchurch's "edible park" has re-launched a crowdfunding campaign after the original was delayed by the Port Hills fires.

The Otakaro Orchard project is located on a $3 million former office site in Christchurch's Avon River Precinct, close to the Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

The project has received over $300,000 in public donations and grant funding, and Edible Canterbury is ready to start construction of the first phase, the edible park.

An artist's impression of the comlpeted riverside promenade on the Cambridge Tce side of the Avon River, near Montreal ...

An artist's impression of the comlpeted riverside promenade on the Cambridge Tce side of the Avon River, near Montreal St and Durham St.

Crown development company Otakaro Limited granted the collective the lease of the $3m site at 227 Cambridge Tce, next to the former PGC building.

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Edible Canterbury needs to raise $2m to construct the edible park, as well as an adjacent cafe and local food information centre.

The park will feature a heritage orchard, herb and vegetable beds showcasing growing techniques, space for educational workshops, and an amphitheatre for public gatherings and events.

Project co-ordinator Chloe Waretini said the goal was to turn Christchurch into an "edible garden city".

"With crowd help, in the coming months we will be transforming this rubbly lot into an urban oasis that produces tonnes of food each year for our community."

The collective aims to raise at least $60,000 through crowdfunding site Pledge Me to landscape and plant the park, create an amphitheatre, and build seating.

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The campaign was originally launched on February 14, but the collective decided not to promote it while the city was dealing with the Port Hills fires.

As of Tuesday night, 93 people had pledged a total of $6521 to the campaign.

The campaign will close on March 31, and pledges will be collected only if the campaign reaches its $60,000 target.

Depending on how much a donor gives, they can receive various gifts in return, from free vegetable seeds to a permanent named plaque on a planter box.

The collective has publicly shared a live budget, which it hopes will decrease over the course of the campaign.

"The goal is to get the total as low as possible by the end of the campaign with our crowd contributing both money, materials and connections," Waretini said.

A joint venture between City Care and JFC Contracting will construct the park.

Meanwhile, Otakaro will begin work on the next stage of the Avon River Precinct in mid-March, focusing on a riverside promenade between Antigua and Durham streets.

Otakaro chief executive Albert Brantley said the work would enhance the area around the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

"The paved Terraces area gives a sense of what people will see develop along this 2.8-kilometre stretch of the city. It will enable shops and eateries to make the most of their riverside location."

The paved Oxford Tce side of the river will be a shared, slow-speed route for pedestrians, cyclists, cars and, in parts, trams.

The Cambridge Tce side will be a park with walking and cycling paths running alongside the river.

The precinct will feature kowhai and red maple trees along with other plantings selected for colour and fragrance.

Rain gardens will be incorporated to improve stormwater management and contribute to a healthier river, Brantley said.

Otakaro expects to complete the Avon River Precinct in 2018.

 - Stuff


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