Adding Employment into the Mix

An important ingredient in The Shady Lanes Project collaborative model is the inclusion of social enterprises who create meaningful local employment.

This morning, the Nundah Community Enterprises Co-operative (NCEC)‘s youth co op members started on their first verge as part of this project. A large part of our grant goes to NCEC to do the initial conversion of verges.

Today, they only did preparation. Next time, we’ll have some plants for them as well so they get the satisfaction of seeing the final product of their work. It’s important that the residents who will have ongoing responsibility for the verge are also involved in the planting. Ideally, both will end up with a sense of pride and ownership.

This is an experiment for all concerned – working out how long this work takes, what works well, how it fits in with the rest of the project.

While cooler, greener streets is the obvious result of this activity, an important outcome is that NCEC will have a good basis for quoting for future work and grant applications. Another is that it helps ACF Community Brisbane Northside refine their model for ongoing working bees here and in the wider region.

The Beginnings of a Verge Garden

It is a typical barren grass verge, larger than most, with a couple of lonesome street streets.

The quiet location with no passing traffic, and the footpath between houses opposite that brings pedestrians towards this verge, made this an ideal location for this experiment.

It will create an ongoing example of how to create a verge garden that fits within council the policy, and maximises environmental and social benefits.

They’re lucky to have some shade as they work.
Although it’s only August, it is already hot for outdoor workers.

Even though there is no concrete footpath, and even though nobody has reason to walk there, we must leave a pathway for pedestrians. Future development could mean that there are more homes built at the end. We all agreed that the path will also make it a much more pleasant and inviting space to be in.

The path reinforces the idea of corridors and continues the line of sight from the walkway.

We ended with two garden beds, a much better understanding of what we are trying to do between all involved, and lots of new ideas. Great work everyone.

Next Steps

  • 26 August: Working bee organised by ACF Community Brisbane Northside to plant in these garden beds. This is especially for the children involved.
  • Next session with NCEC youth co op members for prep and planting. Date TBC

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