Packe Street park at crossroads

The community gardens in Packe Street is looking for more volunteers, funds and a paid co-ordinator to prepare the gardens for the next generation.

It’s time for a second team of willing workers to come on board at the 19-year-old Packe Street Community Garden.

“Continuing to work as we do just isn’t an option for much longer,” says Michael Patrick, chair of the society that looks after the small Christchurch City Council reserve in St Albans. “The garden is at a crossroads.”

Volunteers who maintain the park need reinforcements. “We’re getting on,” says 87-year-old botanist Bill Sykes. “It’s not that we can’t do the work. It just takes us longer and we could definitely do with a second team.

“Our new young volunteers can usually only commit regular time until they get into paid employment.”

“We could do so much more if we could organise another work group,” says Peggy Kelly, gardening co-ordinator. She is looking for a chance to retire. She may be a dynamo, but is not a perpetual motion machine.

Maybe a second work group could help during a morning or at the weekend. “I love our Thursday group. We’re a mixed bunch of happy souls and there’s just enough of us to work well together. With another team, we might make some headway with the convolvulus and get the “magic path” completed 13 years after the first mosaic was laid.”

The plan is to contract a paid co-ordinator at $25 an hour for an average eight hours a week, to expand the gardening activity, revamp holiday activities for children and to create projects with wide appeal.

“To get back some of the energy we had in the old days when we were all 20 years younger,” says Kelly. “We need to upgrade the park shed so volunteers don’t rely on neighbours for kitchen and toilet facilities.”

“All this will take money. Because we are a charitable society we are also seeking funding from community charitable trusts,” says treasurer Peter Dearsley. Support from the Shirley/Papanui Community Board and people who have enjoyed the park over the years has been welcome.

Learn about the development plan and how the community can help make it happpen at the AGM of Packe Street Park and Community Garden Inc on Monday, March 9 at 7pm, at 587 Barbadoes Street. Old friends, construction people, fund raisers and new members are especially welcome.

Garden shed work – including sewer, water and power – could cost $12,000, which would also pay for those services for a year.

Volunteers are needed to dig a water pipe trench to the shed. People also have to dig out the rhododendrons, which will be cared for until the sewer is laid then replanted.

One practical way to help is to donate to the project:
Cheques made out to Packe Street Park and Community Garden Inc. can be sent to Treasurer, C/- 18 Bishop Street, St Albans, Christchurch 8014

Via internet banking or by a deposit at any Westpac Bank branch
Bank account details are: Packe Street Park and Community Garden Inc. Account 03 1704 0047389 00. Please e-mail your name, address and date of payment to: packestreetpark@gmail.com

Packe Street Park and Community Garden Inc. is registered with the New Zealand
Charities Commission. Any donation over $5 is eligible for a tax rebate. “We ask
donors to give their names and addresses so that we can send receipts”, says treasurer, Peter Dearsley, “our Charities Commission Registration number is CC35343”.

Source: Media release from the Packe Street Park and Community Garden Inc

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About belinda

Involved with St Albans Community Resource Centre and NeighbourNet since 1997
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