Work over the last seven years to create a green space to encourage Paekākāriki’s self sufficiency and strengthen community is now a reality with Paekākāriki Orchards and Gardens.
This year this local open group secured a four year license from Kāpiti Coast District Council to use an acre of land at the northern end of the village for the benefit of the whole Paekākāriki community.
Kāpiti residents are invited to come and find out more about the vision for the land, share food and join in games and gardening with a summer celebration Sunday 1 December. There will be a walk and talk across the land at 3pm, followed by games for the kids and a pot luck BBQ and picnic with music from 5pm at the high point of the land, which has now been cleared as a new community gathering area, offering great views.
After a one year trial, Paekākāriki Community Orchards and Gardens Group, or POG for short. have secured a longer license for the undulating land as orchards, gardens and community space . The space runs east to west between the thoroughfare known as the ‘Horse Track’ and the Holiday Park, from the northern end of Tilley Road – with its recently developed sportsfields and weaving whare – to the Wellington Road entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park.
A substantial project is slowly growing through working collectively as a community. Over six years there has been much planting up of roadside berms, and community dinners and picnics thrown, workshops run and produce provided to Paekākāriki. The last two years have seen planting and gathering on this new site at its eastern end, alongside community events and kids ‘wild play’.
But this year it feels like things have turned up a notch – towards a longer term vision. After the development of a plan for the land, over winter and spring there’s been the planting of a fledgling orchard, more crop growing and compost making, and many more cups of tea.
The land use is growing, and there’s an open invitation to the community to come and enjoy this land with the group, and assist with its development.