Environmentalist Memorial Garden
A number of devoted workers for the environment died in the 1980s, and ECO and some of the bereaved families wished to commemorate them and their work with that most apt symbolic action, the planting of a tree. However, it was found to be quite difficult to locate suitable public land where this could be done. The ECO Executive Committee considered it would be most appropriate if an area of public land could be set aside for commemorative planting. Coincidentally, about this time the Volco Trust donated a sum of money for the establishment of an Environmental Memorial Garden. Then ECO Executive member Bob Fantl led the project.
Negotiations with the Wellington City Council over more than three years led to the reestablishment of title and the setting aside of a section of the original Bolton Street Cemetery. The area was beside the on-ramp to the motorway and had been in Transit NZ hands for some 25 years. It was very suitable because as well as being of some historic significance it was relatively bare of vegetation and conveniently close to the central city.
Criteria for the selection of those to be commemorated and the processes to be observed were developed and agreed upon, and can be seen in the memorial book in the Bolton Street Chapel, where there is also a map indicating where the trees are planted.
The plantings and ongoing care of the area have been undertaken by the Wellington City Council. ECO is very grateful for this.
The whole period of negotiation with the Wellington City Council included consultation with the Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery and Te Atiawa.
Trees have already been planted for:
- Perrine Moncrieff
- Neta Wharehoka
- Sir Charles Fleming
- Helen Rainforth
- Bruce Henderson
- Helmut Einhorn
- Mavis Tiller
- Richard Dell
- Bill Moxon
In 2012 additional environmentalists were recognised in the garden and totara trees were planted during the ECO Conference on Sunday 8 July. The additonal recognition was given to:
- Robert Fantl
- Tom Hay
A memorial page for each person recognised is placed in a special folder at the Bolton Street Chapel, 26 Bolton Street.
For further information on the memorial gardens and the process of recognising recently deceased environmentalists please contact the ECO Executive.