Resident-led nature trail wins inaugural sustainability award
25 August 2022
Residents at Metlifecare’s Greenwood Park retirement village in Welcome Bay have trumped two other finalists to take out the 2022 Spaceworks Resident-led Gardening and Landscaping Award at tonight’s inaugural Retirement Village Sustainability Awards. https://conference.rvanz.org.nz/site/events/conference/2022/sustainability_awards
The group were awarded the accolade for their outstanding, and decades-long work, transforming a once boggy farm track leading to wasteland, into a stunning native bush and tranquil nature trail, that has become a prominent part of their village.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of residents, staff and volunteers over many years, the ‘Quail Trail’ (named for the quail population that inhabit part of it) now bursts with mature trees and sings with native birdsong as it winds its way past a native fernery, a wetland and peaceful glade.
Resident and Chair of the Greenwood Park Environmental Sustainability Group, Stephen Parr, who plays an active role maintaining and improving the Quail Trail, and who accepted the award on behalf of the retirement village at the awards ceremony in Christchurch on Wednesday evening, says they are incredibly proud of the acknowledgement.
“The Quail Trail has been a long labour of love, with a rich history of collaboration that started way back when the village first opened more than 30 years ago. Over the years many residents have adopted their own areas of the trail and put in a significant amount of work transforming it into something that has become a treasured part of our village life, and a space for all residents and their families to enjoy, now and into the future.
“Having been at Greenwood Park for less than two years, I’m relatively new to the project, so I’m honoured to accept this award on behalf of all the people who have been involved over the years.
“It has taught me that there are no limits to what you can do with a bare piece of land. All you need is passion and dedication, and that’s something we have in spades here,” says Stephen.
More than 100 residents, staff, and contractors have been involved in the project in varying degrees since its inception.
Residents with a range of backgrounds have utilised their skills to contribute to the ongoing project, including a carpenter who built a shade house and nursery; and an artist who created a popular sculpture from fallen logs and clay.
Greenwood Park Village Manager, Charlie Vague says he’s thrilled to see residents and staff recognised and celebrated for their incredible efforts.
“I’m really proud of what has been achieved here at Greenwood Park. Environmental awareness and sustainability have become increasingly important to our residents, who recognise its impact and value for future generations.
“The Quail Trail is not just a stunning part of our village that brings joy to all those that use it now, but they have also created a living legacy for future residents and their families.”
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