Lynda Burns (Visitor Services Team Leader, Transport and Greenspace, Christchurch City Council, and also an interpretation expert) had recently started working with the Botanical Gardens and was keen to have some good quality displays in the Information Centre.
DOC’s Canterbury regional Weedbusters coordinator, Helen Braithwaite, was involved in discussions from the beginning, and sent Lynda details of the local and national Weedbusters interpretation material available.
An overall theme of ‘New Zealand’s Most Unwanted’ was carried through the entire display.
Lynda engaged Robinne Weiss of Interptech to coordinate the design and production of the display, and local multi-media artist Simon van der Sluijs was commissioned to produce representations of four weeds (boneseed, old man’s beard, Mexican daisy and agapanthus) to be enclosed in a ‘jail cell’ which is the centrepiece of the display.
“Robinne and Lynda were very impressed with the design of the Weedbusters quickscreens, and wanted to customise them to produce posters which relate to Christchurch, including information on green waste disposal facilities,” says Helen.
“Sandra Parkkali, our graphic artist here in DOC Canterbury Conservancy, adapted the material and coordinated the design of the display so it was eye-catching and consistent.”
Photos from the Canterbury/Otago Plant Me Instead booklet were put into a Powerpoint presentation, and Weedbusters handouts were included in the display.
“The display looks very impressive and was really popular with visitors to the gardens, particularly over the recent somewhat soggy school holiday period,” says Lynda.
“The kids enjoyed the display and the colouring in sheets based on Simon’s drawings. The Plant Me Instead booklet, which was recently reprinted, continues to be in demand”.
Because of the input from DOC, ECan and Weedbusters to this Christchurch City Council-funded project, it was agreed early in the development of the display that Canterbury Weedbusters would be given the display material once the display closed.
This display is already booked to be used for a Weedbusters stand at the Canterbury A&P Show in November, and after that the material will be available for other groups to use.
“It was a great experience to work with such talented interpretation experts who produced material which was better than I could have imagined,” says Helen.
“It has left us with some fantastic resources that we will be able to share with Weedbusters groups around the region to raise awareness of weeds issues in Canterbury.”