The 0.23ha reserve on the corner of Silicon Way and Pacific Drive in Summerhill was purchased in 2006 when the development of the area was getting underway.
Since then it has been left bare, but with the intention of making the site the permanent home to a cutting that survived the 1945 Nagasaki bombing.
The cuttings were gifted to all New Zealand cities as part of the ‘Mayor for Peace’ initiative composed of cities around the world that had formally expressed support for the 'Programme to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.'
Palmerston North’s cutting has been sitting at the council’s nursery where it’s been lovingly cared for over the years.
At the ‘Hiroshima: Our People’s Experiences’ event at The Globe Theatre last night, Mayor Grant Smith unveiled plans for the Peace Tree Reserve.
Drainage work was done earlier this year to prepare for the transformation of the reserve, which will showcase the important relationship between New Zealand and Japan.
Parks and Reserves Manager Kathy Dever-Tod says at one end of the reserve New Zealand natives will be on show, and then a boardwalk will connect up to a Japanese themed garden.
“Different Japanese-style plants will be on show surrounded by a pebble pathway. There’ll be small stones which face large rocks to symbolise good luck and prosperity. There’ll also be Yukimi-gata lanterns to provide light to the peace tree cutting which will sit in the Japanese garden.”
She says the reserve will have a natural theme to it, with wooden picnic tables, swing seat, playground and swings. The fence will have seven horizontal palings which symbolise good luck.
Work on the reserve will get underway later this year.