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New Zealand Red Cross has been working with community groups to revive existing community gardens and establish new ones in some of the suburbs hit hardest by the quakes.
Red Cross outreach projects coordinator Sabrina Daddar says the gardening project is about bringing back social spaces and restoring community connectedness across Christchurch.
“Community gardens have a lot of benefits,” she says. “As well as improving nutrition, physical activity and psychosocial wellbeing, they create a sustainable food chain and help build stronger, more resilient community connections.”
There are four existing gardens in Linwood and New Brighton. Red Cross has been working with other community groups and associations to develop more gardens for Christchurch residents.
Most recently, Red Cross volunteers helped revive the IHC/IDEA community garden at St John’s Anglican Church at Woolston.
“The church asked if we could help out and it was a good chance for our volunteers to do something different for the community,” Sabrina says.
Produce from the Woolston garden is used for the local soup kitchen for the IHC/IDEA and members of the church.