Pockets of Palmers pansies and primula’s are peeping out from new flowerbeds in Auckland’s CBD – but the planting drive isn’t just about looking pretty.
Palmers donated more than 2500 punnets of purple and white bedding plants as part of the Beautify Your City campaign, which kicked off its third phase this week.
The flowers have been planted in six temporary flowerbeds in spots that had become targets for the illegal dumping of rubbish, fats and oils.
“The idea is that the plants will dissuade dumpers,” says Palmers General Manager Garry Stone. “It’s a similar concept to painting murals on spots that are targets for graffiti. It’s designed to gently encourage people to respect their city – even the seemingly forsaken nooks and crannies. And, of course, the flowers will also brighten up the CBD for everyone to enjoy.”
It’s the second time in the last year that Palmers has donated plants for the beautification initiative, which was developed by the Heart of the City business group and the Auckland City Council.
“We’re delighted to be involved,” says Garry. “We here at Palmers are great believers in the power of plants. This project channels that power into a good cause. It really is beauty with a purpose.”
To reinforce the campaign, the council provided every business in the CBD a rubbish bag printed with purple pansies, instead of the usual red bag.
Businesses have also received an information pack about rubbish and recycling.
The campaign began in November last year, when Palmers donated its first round of plants. Council statistics suggest that the initial planting project worked, in conjunction with the wider campaign. The number of rubbish bags dumped illegally in the city fell from 1273 in November 2009 to 381 bags in November 2010. The numbers continued to improve – in February this year only 121 bags were found dumped – though the council says the record has slipped since then.
“We hope this new project will reinforce the strong message that the plants conveyed in November. With an influx of visitors expected in the next few months, the timing couldn’t be better for a reminder to take pride in our city,” says Garry.