Many of the city's neighbourhood parks are cared for with the help of the local community. Find out how you can get involved!

Community planting; photographer Aaron Campbell.

What to expect

During autumn, winter and spring, volunteer work is often focused around planting, weeding and mulching. In summer, work is mainly weeding, watering and litter removal.

Bring sturdy footwear, a bottle of water, snacks and warm clothes. Some gloves and spades are provided but bring your own if you can.

Regular working bees

Thistledown Reserve

Join Park Rangers, Ihutai Trust and passionate volunteers at the Thistledown Reserve working bee.

  • Monthly on Saturday mornings between 10am and 12 noon
  • End of Thistledown Place, Woolston

Tasks include planting, pruning, weeding and mulching. Wear gumboots or old sneakers as there are wet and muddy areas on site.

Download the 2020 schedule. [PDF, 647 KB]

Farnley Reserve 

  • Every third Sunday of the month, 10am to 11.30am
  • Eastern Terrace, Beckenham

Tasks include weeding, mulching and planting. Wear sturdy footwear and bring your own morning tea gloves, wheelbarrow and gardening tools.

For more information,

Papanui Bush 

  • Every second Tuesday of the month, 8.30am to 12.30pm
  • Bridgestone Reserve, 46 Langdons Road, Papanui

Tasks include weed releasing, planting and general tidying up.

Contact Denis McMurtrie on 021 125 1920 for more information.

Drayton Reserve

Drayton Reserve also holds regular working bees, check the Drayton Reserve Volunteers(external link) website or sign up for the newsletter to receive details of upcoming planting days.

Community volunteer days

  Papanui Bush Arbor Day Planting 

Join volunteers this Arbor Day to help plant natives and restore Papanui Bush. Numbers are limited and registrations essential.

  • Friday 5 June
  • Two sessions: 10am to 11am  and 11.15am to 12.15 pm
  • Bring your own gardening gloves
  • Bring your own spade if you have one (labelled)
  • Register by emailing

Meet at Bridgestone Reserve, Langdons Road.

Contact if you have any queries.

Chimera Crescent Community Planting Day

Join the Eco-Action Nursery Trust(external link) and Christchurch City Council rangers and help plant native trees grown by students from eleven Christchurch schools.

  • 10am to midday, Sunday 7 June. QEII Adventure Trail off Beach Road.
  • 10am to midday, Sunday 21 June. Location to be confirmed.
  • 10am to midday, Sunday 2 August. Meet at 28 Chimera Crescent, New Brighton.
  • 10am to midday, Sunday 30 August. Meet at 28 Chimera Crescent, New Brighton.

Contact David Newton on 0274 398872 or link). Check the facebook group for more information.

Matariki Tu Rākau Kahikatea Planting

Join Trees for Canterbury, Christchurch City Council and the RSA for the first public planting of what will one day be the largest stand of kahikatea in Ōtautahi/Christchurch since pre-European times. We will be planting over 2000 kahikatea trees in a wetland area that will provide stormwater retention services as well as enhancing urban biodiversity.

  • Saturday 10 October, 10am to midday
  • BBQ lunch to finish
  • Gumboots essential, some tools and gloves provided but bring your own if you have them

Meet at 103 Philpotts Road, Mairehau to plant in the Cranford Basin.

Matariki Tu Rākau is part of the One Billion Trees programme, helping people to plant living memorials that honour members of their communities. Matariki Tu Rākau was launched on 25 April 2018 to mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Whakatauki e tu kahikatea, hei wakapae uroroa Awhi mai, awhi atu, tatou, tatou e.
Kahikatea stand together; their roots intertwine, strengthening each each other. We all help one another and together we will be strong.

Contact if you have any queries.