A ‘place of beauty’ for all

2016-09-06 06:00
The community garden in Peter Wennings Road, Woodlands, was 1st runner-up in an awards ceremony for the best community garden in the City last year.

The community garden in Peter Wennings Road, Woodlands, was 1st runner-up in an awards ceremony for the best community garden in the City last year.

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A community initiative in Woodlands is one of the most beautiful gardens in the city.

The City of Cape Town’s Community Garden Project has grown to 83 gardens around the city, with 20 new gardens being started in the last year.

On Thursday 1 September the new Mayco member for community services, Anda Ntsodo, visited one of these gardens.

“The Community Garden Project allows volunteer community members to beautify zoned public open spaces with assistance from the City Parks Department. These gardens are a way for communities to take back public space for the purpose of fun and beauty, instead of these spaces being used by those taking drugs and for other anti-social behaviour,” says Ntsodo.

The community garden in Peter Wennings Road competed with gardens all over the city to win second prize in last year’s City Parks Community Gardens Awards.

“It was my great pleasure to meet the two women of the Woodlands community who put in hours of work to bless their community with a beautiful garden. The women plan to assist two of their neighbours to start a new community garden nearby on a piece of neglected open space where drug users frequently gather,” saus Ntsodo.

“City Parks assists with the design and preparation of the site and provides the basic tools and plants required. Community members receive in-situ training and acknowledgement for their contributions. A cooperative agreement is signed between City Parks and a community representative in order to establish a sustainable working relationship. Those involved in the project do so purely on a voluntary basis.”

The department also supports the community gardeners with basic setup requirements such as seeds and compost, and provides ongoing advice.

“The project has really taken off and the level of enthusiasm and creativity exhibited by community members is heartening. The success of the Community Garden Project shows the power of allowing residents the freedom to take ownership of their public spaces,” says Ntsodo.

This initiative encourages as many residents to participate as possible.

No garden is allowed to be fenced off for preferential use or access.

“The project allows residents to be a part of what happens in their communities while also creating the possibility of economic opportunities through recreational activity. Secondary activities surrounding community gardening can be transformed into economic opportunities, such as propagation and sale of seeds, and the sale of cut flowers and seedlings. Positive open spaces also encourage greater use, which can in turn be a deterrent to the abuse of our spaces,” says Ntsodo.

Community gardens from around the city will be honoured later this year at an awards ceremony to shine the spotlight on the volunteers who tend the gardens.

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