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Friday, April 1, 2011

Quarter of parks affected

Quarter of parks affected

Last updated 05:00 02/04/2011
More than a quarter of Christchurch's parks were damaged in February's earthquake, the city council says.

Transport and greenspace unit manager Alan Beuzenberg said many parks and reserves were unaffected by the quake, but parks in the eastern suburbs and on parts of the Port Hills had suffered "considerable damage".

"Park staff and contractors have been inspecting the parks and facilities and closing off unsafe and broken structures," he said.

The council says 961 of the city's 981 parks have been assessed, and 276 are damaged. Fifty-three parks are closed.

Much of the damage is to footpaths, tracks, car parks and sealed playing surfaces.

Beuzenberg said liquefaction and slumping on turf was significant. Repair work on more than 20 minor sports fields began on Thursday.

Most playgrounds have been assessed and are fit for use.

Some park buildings have serious damage and a small number will be demolished. About half of all park toilets have been reopened.

The Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park are open, with playground and toilet facilities operating.

Trees have been inspected in the Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park, along the Avon and Heathcote rivers and in high-use parks in the eastern suburbs. Beuzenberg said some mature trees may need to be removed. A significant rockfall hazard exists on the Port Hills, especially east of Bowenvale, he said.

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