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A disused cul-de-sac in Christchurch’s red zone has been transformed into a vibrant and colourful learn to ride track thanks to a collaborative effort between Citycare, the Student Volunteer Army, Live in Vacant Spaces (LiVS) and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).
Christchurch City Councillor Phil Mauger and Coastal Ward Community Board Member Jo Zervos joined Citycare Junior Project Manager Thomas Parackal and East x East Project Coordinator Hannah Watkinson to celebrate the opening of the new track this month.
Already many families have shared photos and thanked Citycare on the social media of East x East – a nine-hectare red zone regeneration project between landowner LINZ and charity LiVS.
A roundabout, road markings and mini signs created a mini road in Longview Place in Burwood where children can practice their bike skills.
Hannah thanked Citycare for playing an instrumental part in making the track a reality, donating services to repair the original road, paint line markings, and install road signs and tidying up the surrounding area.
“Whether the kids are on balance bikes, trainer wheels or getting ready to ride on the road on their own, they can learn their road rules and have fun in a controlled setting,” she says.
Thomas says the Citycare volunteers jumped at the chance to give back in the community for the preparation work and the finishing touches of the track.
“We’re as much a part of Christchurch as Christchurch is a part of us, so we’re very keen to give back and work on projects like these,” Thomas says.
“The track was a fitting project for us because of all our work looking after open spaces in Christchurch,” he says.
Citycare also drew on its hero partnership with the SVA to assemble a group of young volunteers for painting and landscaping.
“We were delighted to invite students from our Service Award volunteer programme to support this project, enabling young people to solve problems in their own backyard and create meaningful change within communities,” Sam Johnson, Chief Executive of SVA, says.
Bringing some more life and people back to the red zone was a great outcome for the Citycare volunteers and young helpers from St Albans School, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, Papanui High School and Cashmere High School, he says.
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