The recent creation of this small garden area downtown – with a hand-painted planter box built by locals as its centrepiece – was a “real collective effort”, says Trade Aid manager Lisa Thomson, and part of a place making project she’s had in mind for more than a year now to add street appeal to the CBD.

Lisa (left) is pictured with Raglan Area School students Cameron Batt and Jason Messant, who applied their artistic touch to the planter under the watchful eye of local youth mentor Dallas Mihinui (far right).

Students Konrad Batt and Otis Rowe were also involved in the street art project which includes Maori designs representing a kaitiaki, or guardian, and the cluster of stars known as Matariki.

Sayer Landscape Supplies in Te Mata came up with the lavender plants and shell grit, while Xtreme Zero Waste donated the compost. And local Waikato District Council staff – who were very supportive of the project – later brought some old blue rope out of storage in the museum with which to edge the garden.

The finished project has had very positive feedback from locals and holidaymakers alike.

Edith Symes