Fiona Elworthy has turned a derelict pine plantation opposite the Maungati Church Hall in South Canterbury into a park and walkway for all to enjoy.
“I have written “you are welcome to walk in the cheery tree peace walk” just in case they are shy about going in!”
The small pocket of land was part of Craigmore Station, the family farm that is now owned by Bridget and Forbes Elworthy. Once it was cleared of the pines the first thing Fiona did was to plant the cherry tree peace walkway in memory of her husband, Peter.
Planting has diversified exponentially over the past few years and now, thanks to support from the local community, the park has an extensive native grass, shrub and tree area, several sculptures and a unique timber roundhouse.
Fiona holds a blossom festival at the park every year and people can also have a tree planted and named after a loved one for twenty dollars. “I think there are about 175 different trees for different people here:” she says.