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Morrison Ave Reserve opening (Sat, 10am) to celebrate efforts of many

4 August 2006

Tomorrow morning’s official blessing and opening of a small reserve in north-west Christchurch is the culmination of a great deal of community effort over many years, says Yvonne Palmer, chairperson of the City Council’s Shirley/Papanui Community Board.

Morrison Avenue Reserve, developed on land formerly occupied by two properties south of the bowling green on the avenue between Sawyers Arms and Langdons roads, has been the dream of Mrs Palmer and fellow and past board members since about 1991.

The small park, which sports children’s play equipment, a basketball half-court, gas barbeque and young specimen trees, will be blessed at 10am and two plaques will be unveiled. Also done was some traffic calming work so the avenue is safer for children and older adults.

“I’m delighted we’ve finally got it done,” Mrs Palmer says. “The children in the area think it’s wonderful and it really is a tribute to the perseverance of many people, board members, parents and others in the community.

“Board members worked for a long time trying to get it up the list of priorities and find some appropriate land. In 2004 the council got the opportunity to buy numbers 26 and 28.”

Mrs Palmer says the idea started in about 1989 when some residents became concerned about children using the street as their play area. “They either had to go down to the domain, which didn’t have any play equipment in those days, or right across to St James Park which meant having to cross Harewood Road.

“We’re hoping a lot of people will come along to the opening. We want to thank the people who supported the board, former board members who contributed and the staff,” Mrs Palmer says. “The only thing that’s a bit sad is that some of the parents and kids who got behind the idea in the beginning are grown now or moved away, but I’m sure they’d be pleased to know we’ve finally got it done.”

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