Posted in: Older News
April 9, 2014 11:51 PM UTC

Bitcoin Funds River Park In New Zealand

Gavin Andresen took to Reddit today to rekindle /r/Bitcoin's giving spirit.  Not to say that /r/Bitcoin's giving spirit has been dampened at all over the last few years; however, the sponsorship antics of the /r/Dogecoin community just seem to generate more headlines.  The Indian Olympic Team, the Jamaican…

Gavin Andresen took to Reddit today to rekindle /r/Bitcoin’s giving spirit.  Not to say that /r/Bitcoin’s giving spirit has been dampened at all over the last few years; however, the sponsorship antics of the /r/Dogecoin community just seem to generate more headlines.  The Indian Olympic Team, the Jamaican Dogesled Team, the Doge4Water campaign, the Dogecoin NASCAR: These are just the ones that we’ve covered here on CCN.

First though, Gavin had to verify his Reddit post through GPG.  In the post, Gavin Andresen challenged the Bitcoin community to create a “Bitcoin Funds River Park” headline:

The Red Bridge River Park project will preserve a beautiful part of the world from development.

The project is being led by Lewis “Finn” Verduyn-Cassels, who has a decades-long track record of working effectively on environmental causes. I spent some time with Finn last year and he is exactly the kind of get-things-done person that I like to support.

He is also a big fan of Bitcoin, and is (of course!) accepting Bitcoin donations for the project:127gDrfEUy51qiYUvy6wYpuQ7gDxXSe449

See for all the details. The dogecoin folks are sponsoring a race-car; can we counter that environmentally-unfriendly project by donating to something much better?

Gavin Andresen’s idea of a “much better” sponsorship is this: the Red Bridge River Park.  Bitcoin donations have already started pouring into the address: 127gDrfEUy51qiYUvy6wYpuQ7gDxXSe449.  The largest donation thus far is 1 BTC.  The smallest donation thus far is 0.001 BTC.  The donations go to the “river park bitcoin wallet” under the control of the Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group, they are spearheading the Red Bridge River Park project.  Lewis “Finn” Verduyn-Cassels is their chair.

I expect the total amount of BTC donated to continue rising as Bitcoiners discover this worthy project.  What Gavin, Finn, and myself are hoping for though, is that New Zealanders who are interested in being environmentally friendly discover that Bitcoin is by far the best way to donate funds to any cause.  Bitcoin’s blockchain allows for fiscal transparency and also lower per transaction fees.  For those nonprofits that choose to convert donated Bitcoin immediately to fiat due to fading regulatory concerns, Bitcoin payment processors Coinbase and bitpay both offer 0% fees.

Red Bridge River Park Project

The Red Bridge River Park project would establish a riverside park along the Clutha Mata-Au River in the section of the river near the Luggate Red Bridge.  The proposal is still in draft form, and will be further developed once input is had from local authorities, the official owners of the land, as well as various other entities.  The area was previously under the shadow of new hydro dam construction, but that threat has since passed.  The Park would be maintained by a Trust covenant that would ensure that the park is retained in perpetuity.  Additionally, there are plans for a native nursery (some of which have already been started by Finn), a Longfin eel riparian habitat, a skink habitat, and also information panels for human observers.

The Red Bridge River Park project is only the latest of Finn’s contributions to the New Zealand environment.  In 2003, the Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway project was initiated in response to the threat of real estate development in the area.  From 2009 through 2012, Finn also coordinated the Clutha River Forum which was a newly formed alliance of conservation groups in opposition of more hydro dams in the area.

The goal is to have the Red Bridge River Park officially opened in October 2015, which marks the Red Bridge Centenary celebrations.  Whether or not that goal can be attained remains to be seen.

 Park Grounds RenditionRead the draft proposal for a Red Bridge River Park.

“Gavin and Finn at the end of the trip. Yes, the water really was that blue!” Credit: Michelle Cooke-Andresen

Gavin Andresen Meets Lewis  “Finn” Verduyn-Cassels

How is it that two like-minded individuals from opposite sides of the globe have joined together for this Bitcoin fundraising campaign?  The two first met earlier in the year when Gavin was traveling in New Zealand.  As detailed in Gavin’s wife’s blogpost, The best thing Gavin ever bought with bitcoins, Gavin and his wife met Finn while white water rafting with Pioneer Rafting on the Clutha Mata-Au River.  Finn was the raft’s operator and guide; Finn was also somewhat of a Bitcoin enthusiast.  Little did he know, the then lead developer of Bitcoin was sitting right there.  At the end of the rafting trip, Gavin Andresen happily paid for his eco-tour using Bitcoin; coincidentally, this was also Finn’s first time accepting Bitcoin.  Needless to say, that was not Finn’s last Bitcoin transaction.  In fact, Finn’s Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group has received dozens more Bitcoin transactions as of 4/9/14.




Last modified: January 10, 2020 2:04 PM UTC

Caleb Chen @bitxbitxbitcoin

Caleb is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied Economics, East Asian Studies, and Mathematics. He is currently pursuing his MSc in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia.

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