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The Dunedin Chinese Gardens Trust won the Supreme Award at the TrustPower Dunedin Community Awards, presented in the Glenroy Auditorium on Monday night.
Trust secretary-treasurer Malcolm Wong, who said he was humbled by the award, was quick to praise the efforts of the volunteers who contributed to the success of the garden.
"It has been 11 years of blood, sweat and tears and, without the help of the volunteers, the gardens would not have come to fruition."
TrustPower community relations representative and judging panelist Melanie Gray said 55 groups were nominated for this year's awards and competition was tough.
The garden stood out this year because the project was a wonderful community effort involving hundreds of local and international people, many of whom volunteered their time to ensure the project was kept within budget.
"The Dunedin Chinese Gardens Trust has built a beautiful, tranquil garden for Dunedin residents to enjoy that encompasses great cultural significance.
"These amazing gardens are yet another attraction for Dunedin's tourists to enjoy," she said.
Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin said the awards were a great way to celebrate and highlight the efforts of Otago's volunteers.
The Chinese Gardens Trust won a trophy, $1500 prizemoney and will represent the district at the 2008 TrustPower National Community Awards in the Palmerston North and Tararua regions in March 2009.
Heritage and environment: Otago Excursion Train Trust, 1; Orokonui Ecosanctuary; 2.
Health and wellbeing: Otago Hospice Volunteers, 1; Dunedin Citizens Advice Bureau, 2.
Arts and culture: Taieri Dramatic Society, 1; Dunedin Rhododendron Festival Trust, 2.
Sport and leisure: Milton Rotary Tramping Club, 1; Mountain Biking Otago, 2.
Educational and child/youth development: Straight Up Trust, 1; Southern Cross Kids Camp, 2.