This is an extract from the sucessful Great Estates Green Zone funding bid
The Leaf Street community garden will become a focal point for the Green Zone, with a focus on education, learning, volunteering, play, gardening, growing food and CO2 reduction.
A Green Zone Development Worker will be employed to drive forward the Green Zone aspiration and make it a reality. (job share –welcome, applications from local people – encouraged) The project will be managed by CSM as the accountable body and provider of match funding and will report to a steering group including residents of Bentley House, CSM and the local social enterprise, Hulme Community Garden Centre may be co-opted onto this.
A range of initiatives have been developed and carried out by the enthusiasm and skills of a part of the local population engaged with environmental, social and economic sustainability issues. Residents have created the Leaf Street Community Garden, a volunteer-run intranet and a range of recycling and reuse facilities. However the community garden is currently suffering from neglect and would benefit from an injection of money and energy. There has been a change in the demographic on the estate since the initial design, and there are now more young children.
The project will link existing, but fragmented local expertise and structures by encouraging all residents to be involved in the project. This will realise the full potential of new sustainability initiatives across Bentley House and achieve the integrated vision of a holistic Green Zone.
It is this integrated and inclusive vision that makes the project innovative and an exemplar for other localities.
The environment will be used as a vehicle for engaging individuals in their local community and a range of initiatives will be developed and implemented including;
- Work with experts to produce a permaculture re-design of Leaf St to create a biodiverse, low maintenance environment.
- Provide wooden fixed play equipment in the community garden for children.
- Work with HCGC to coordinate volunteering, deliver horticulture taster sessions, advanced follow on training and Future Jobs Fund employment opportunities to tackle worklessness.
- Create a plan for the other green spaces on the estate.
- Group development work for residents involved with gardening, including consultation and planning event organisation in consultation with the Federation of Community Development Learning
- Consult with Landlife, to utilise best practice in urban wildflower management
- Redesign the flow of traffic and parking facilities that discourage the existing access problems of commuter vehicles parking on the pavements outside resident’s homes.
- Establish a ‘green screen’ along the adjacent dual carriageways
- Improve and increase recycling, composting, energy saving measures and reuse facilities
- Encourage cycling and provide sufficient safe bicycle storage for residents and visitors
- Slow down speeds on the roads using large planters, creating a green and safe zone for the estate’s youngest residents.
- Explore the option of ultimately changing the use of Hulme Street from free commuter parking into a pedestrian and cycle thoroughfare linking Hulme Park, Bentley House estate, and the ‘new’ crossing to the city centre.