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The Sunrise Foundation in Gisborne has established an endowment fund for Eastwoodhill, the National Arboretum of New Zealand, after a generous donation was gifted for the arboretum.

Sunrise, a community endowment foundation, was launched by The Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall in October 2014.  Although new to New Zealand, community foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy worldwide and have been operating for over 100 years in North America.

Glenda Stokes, Sunrise Executive Officer, believes it is the strength of the endowment model, where donations and bequests are invested and grown each year, that appealed to these donors, who wish to remain anonymous.

“When we were contacted by the donors they made it clear they wanted to donate for Eastwoodhill.  It was important to them that their gift be protected and inflation proofed for the future.  This is why they chose to donate to the Eastwoodhill Endowment Fund at Sunrise, so that their gift will keep on supporting Eastwoodhill forever,” she says.

Revered as the National Arboretum of New Zealand, Eastwoodhill encompasses over 131 hectares of rolling hills, 25km of walking tracks, and is home to 3500 species of exotic and native trees, shrubs and climber plantings.

While Eastwoodhill is regarded as the largest and most comprehensive collection of Northern Hemisphere trees south of the equator, just as significantly , it is also an important community resource, attracting thousands of visitors annually. Enjoying strong relationships with tertiary education providers, it is a valuable resource and base for scholarly research and hosts hundreds of local school groups every year.

Eastwoodhill’s trustees support the establishment of the Eastwoodhill Endowment Fund with Sunrise as a way of helping to ensure the survival of this globally significant collection and support the future development of the arboretum.

Peter Jackman Chairman of Eastwoodhill says that they are thankful for any donations they receive.  “Eastwoodhill doesn’t receive government funding. As such we are reliant on the donations and fundraising is a constant challenge for us.  We truly appreciate the generosity of these donors that has enabled the establishment of our new endowment fund at Sunrise.”

Curator Dan Haliday has the huge task of keeping Eastwoodhill running today, but he says that it is just as vital to secure the arboretum’s future for tomorrow. “This partnership with Sunrise will help to secure Eastwoodhill’s legacy for generations to come.”