The greening of Prestbury: sidewalk gardens could win big prizes

2012-11-07 00:00

A GROUP of volunteers from Prestbury and Blackridge, who started sidewalk gardens more than 10 years ago, need as many votes as possible to win the Builders Express Sidewalk Garden competition.

They could win a garden make-over to the value of R75 000 and other prizes.

Rob Burgess, who entered the competition on behalf of the group, said the gardens had not only beautified the neighbourhood, but had also helped community members to get to know each other better.

“It’s wonderful to encourage the community spirit. It has done wonders when it comes to interacting with others,” Burgess told The Witness.

The garden, which is made up only of indigenous plants, stretches for seven kilo­metres between Sweetwaters and Winston roads.

Burgess said he read about the competition in an advert and thought it would be good to take a chance and enter.

The group needs maximum votes to win R5 000 locally and R75 000 in the regional contest. Burgess said the proceeds would be ploughed back into other projects.

“This would go a long way to support our efforts in uplifting our community, supplying employment and transferring skills to a number of people employed on the projects.”

Sphakanyiswa Memela said he felt fortunate to be part of such an initiative. He has been working on the sidewalk gardens since 2005. He told The Witness the job has taught him much about plants and has made him appreciate their importance and beauty. “I’ve learned a lot about indigenous plants and now know that some can be used as medicine.”

Memela believes that the gardens help to keep the neighbourhood clean.

“I would love to start something like this back home, but I just haven’t got time to do it at the moment.”

To vote, SMS 392 to 37291. The competition closes on November 12.

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