Reimagining the potential of the site
Yarrs Flat Reserve is a large wetland at the mouth of the Ararira River on the northern margin of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. Although degraded ecologically, the site has enormous potential for involving the local community.
Renaming the site
The first step to unlocking the potential of the site has been a renaming process in which the river’s name is changed from ‘LII’ to ‘Ararira’. Supporting this, the site is referred to as ‘Ararira Wetland’ rather than ‘Yarrs Flat’, with a logo that expresses the site, and a colour palette tying back to our project partners’ branding.
Designing the site
The project presented opportunities to both remediate the site and also focus on generating social value. The master plan developed in partnership partnership with Living Water Trust, Department of Conservation, and Waihora Ellesmere Trust spatial plan for the site works to support the social and place-based goal of the proposal.
Growing the site
The project aims to foster connections with local people (as families, groups and as individuals) by facilitating ongoing planting days and learning activities that support the long-term restoration of the wetland. The master plan focuses on a community-led implementation from setting out the site, hosting planting days and events to organising regular visits to the site to ensure successful establishment of planting.
Fostering the site
The planting at Ararira Wetland has been successfully established. Each additional planting day and event brings more people together to restore this once degraded wetland into a communal space of socialising, learning, and discovery.