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New collaboration seeding love for our waterways

Wednesday, March 2, 2022   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: collaboration, biodiversity

Two inspiring Christchurch Women are coming together for a new and special collaboration, bringing together the heart of River of Flowers Earthquake Commemoration and Giving Seeds of Love project.

Michelle Whitaker organises River of Flowers for 22nd February every year which includes people writing beautiful Messages of Hope. “The messages [from previous anniversaries] make heartfelt reading. We’ve all had different earthquake experiences but what is clear from the messages is the love for the city and hope to get through the challenges we face. It is remarkable and something we should all be quite proud of,” says Michelle.

Rebecca Parnham created the Giving Seeds of Love following the Mosque attacks turning the thousands of cards into seeded hearts through community workshops. Giving Seeds of Love is to grow meaningful connections using wildflowers as symbolism for diversity. Rebecca explains that “In nature, diversity is a strength and makes for a healthy ecosystem. The same can be true of society”. 

Over the years there have been thousands of River of Flowers messages collected. Michelle approached Rebecca Parnham about treasuring the cards and we came up with the idea of turning these into seeded hearts as well. The partnering of Giving Seeds of Love with River of Flowers enables Rebecca to share the healing skills she acquired as a Social Worker during the earthquakes and following the tragedy on 15th March 2019.

The collaboration aims to run community workshops to make native seeded hearts for the 12th earthquake anniversary in 2023. These workshops are all about creating opportunities for people to connect with each other and participate in a therapeutic process where they can make something tangible. 

“Imagine seeded hearts growing alongside the waterways to help our rivers become healthier“, says Rebecca. Flourish will work with their science advisor Dr Colin Meurk to get the right seeds.

River of Flowers has always been about celebrating our rivers. It was very important to the late Evan Smith who partnered Michelle in previous years to run River of Flowers. “Evan would be happy we are adding to the biodiversity and health or our rivers by seeding appropriate natives at next year’s anniversary,” says Michelle.     

River of Flowers has become part of our Christchurch City’s story and like ‘Giving Seeds of Love’ is one of the few rituals that supports grieving and healing at a community level.