19 Feb 2021

Rātā Foundation School Gardens taking shape for free Christchurch garden festival


Plants, flowers and vegetables are taking up every spare inch of space at six regional schools as designs are finalised for the Rātā Foundation School Gardens exhibitions at Grow Ōtautahi in March.

School pupils from around Christchurch are sharing the unique stories of their communities by creating special gardens for Grow Ōtautahi – Christchurch’s very own, free three-day garden festival. The Rātā Foundation School Gardens celebrate the best of our local environment, with a view to sustainability and education.

Festival Director Sandi MacRae says she’s impressed at the work and detail in the school gardens.

“What I’m seeing in the lead-up to the event is really blowing me away. The schools are not only creating wonderful reflections of their local communities, they’re also weaving the work into their learning with a focus on community, sustainability, creativity and celebrating our environment. The plants are growing well and I can’t wait to see them on site in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

“The commitment of the teachers, children and local communities involved is inspirational, and I know visitors to the festival will be delighted with what they have created.”

Rātā Foundation Chief Executive Leighton Evans says “the Garden Festival provides a unique opportunity to celebrate our Garden City; while increasing environmental awareness and supporting education for our tamariki and rangatahi around sustainable growing practices.”

“The Rātā Foundation School Gardens provide a pathway for building the next generation of gardeners and eco-warriors.”

The Grow Ōtautahi Christchurch Garden Festival Trust is closely monitoring the national Covid-19 situation, following all advice from Government and will respond swiftly to any changing circumstances.

“We are all focused on the task at hand and gearing-up to welcome people to the first-ever Grow Ōtautahi. This has always included a sharp focus on public safety and we’ll have appropriate hygiene and health-related processes in place,” Sandi MacRae says.