Community fundraising efforts have raised more than $25,000 to restore the quake-damaged Mona Vale bathhouse.
The historic building suffered damage in the Canterbury earthquakes and while some funding is set aside in Christchurch City Counci’s Long Term Plan, work was deferred until 2029 due to budget constraints.
Earlier this year, the Friends of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens committee began a fundraising campaign with a successful Edwardian Garden party attended by the Mayor, Mayoress, several Christchurch City Councillors, MPs and members of the public who dressed up for the themed occasion.
“The Edwardian themed party helped raise funds for the restoration and allowed the Friends to donate $25,000,” says Mona Vale subcommittee Chair and event organiser, Jeanette Christensen.
“We’re a group who are passionate about the Gardens, particularly the educational ‘botanic’ side.”
Friends of the Gardens Chair, Jane Cowan-Harris says the charitable organisation support staff wherever needed and take an ambassador role to share the Gardens with visitors – whether local or international.
“Having already been delayed in restoration, we were keen to support this project to open this beautiful building back up to visitors,” says Ms Cowan-Harris.
The bathhouse building will be used to house a semi-tropical collection of plants, as well as become a public venue for small events. The restoration of the building is the final project to be completed at Mona Vale.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have such great support from the Friends to work towards completion of this special historic building,” says Manager Parks Programmes and Partnerships, Roslyn Kerr.
“The generous donation from the Friends will help get this restoration of the iconic bathhouse underway – and this is just one example of the incredible work they do in supporting the Gardens and Mona Vale in a range of ways.”
The Friends invite anyone interested in joining to support the Gardens to come along to an Open Day at the Kiosk from 10am – 4pm on 29 October. The day will be an opportunity to learn more about the work the Friends do within the Gardens and Mona Vale, discover what’s involved in training as a Garden guide, and join as a volunteer.
Donations towards the restoration of the bathhouse are still welcomed by the Friends and can be donated by their website here.