Students help with earthquake restoration

by Kent Caddick

Selwyn students have been giving their time to help restore the ecology along the banks of Christchurch’s Avon River damaged in the earthquakes.
Around 120 Lincoln University landscape architecture students and staff members recently spent a day at the Anzac Drive Reserve Mahinga Kai in East Christchurch to help with maintenance work on the restoration project.

The group spent the day handweeding new areas of planting, loading wheelbarrows with mulch, spreading mulch around plants, and stabilising wind protection around the new season’s plantings.

Associate Professor Mike Barthelmeh, of Lincoln’s School of Landscape Architecture (SOLA), said the school holds an annual March Vertical Studio session for all students and this year they decided they wanted to do something to help a local community to achieve its goals. “We were lucky enough to have perfect weather for the day,” he said. 

“We had such a large group attending, we felt as though we were able to make a real difference. Everyone worked very hard.”

Associate Professor Barthelmeh says the SOLA team places a high value on community engagement. “Where possible, we like to get involved with community-based projects that use our expertise.” Recent work includes design proposals for West Melton Primary School, Lincoln High School, the Children’s Sensory Garden for Christchurch Botanic Gardens and a new playground for the Lincoln University Childcare Centre.