This is an unique project in the UK. Beside the obvious scope of bringing together the residents by offering a space suitable for children play, organising treasure hunts, harvest day, etc, it could potentially become a tourist attraction, helping a struggling community hit hard by the local council cuts to thrive. Already with two litter-picking events (a third one is on the way on the 11th of March), together with a handful of people, we managed to transform what used to be called "the tip" amongst the residents into a beautiful community space, where people come for a picnic rather than to dump their rubbish. This is also democracy at its best - at the last event, local residents have voted for the best way to improve the park and building a berry maze was almost unanimously chosen. Bristol Parks have agreed to the idea, so now it has come to the point where we need to gather funds for the project.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
- builds the community - creates a beautiful place instead of an eyesore - helps the fauna by providing shelter and food to birds and insects in an area heavily affected by building - provides a lovely space for children to play and learn about nature - helps children from the local schools to get hands on experience by helping with the maze's maintenance - increases volunteering opportunities, not only during the building of the maze, but also permanently, as monthly maintenance is needed - it's an unique project in the UK
Steps to get it done:
The park is situated in a disadvantaged area of the city, where many people survive on benefits and there is very little community involvement. There is a lot of antisocial behaviour too. We all know that people are less prone to litter when a space is clean (we have had the proof of that in our experience of cleaning the park). Similarly, when a place is beautiful and well kempt, people tend to treat it better and are more likely to be inspired to do good things. We are a small group, but our dreams are big.
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Here are the most likely dates for bulding the maze. I cannot confirm them 100% (apart from the Bristol Open Door Day) because it all depends on the succes of the mowing. If they stumble accross a birds nest they will have to stop and resume work 2 weeks later. If you have any suggestions to improve this schedule, please do let me know. Other wise, please put those dates in your diaries. Obviously, I don't expect everyone showing up for all of the dates and I understand it's quite a while in advance, but it would be really helpful if you could send me a line saying which dates you could do, so I have a rough estimate. 2nd of September - litter picking and cement slab repair. 9th of September - Mock'a Maze day - early morning marking the maze with bamboo canes instead of wooden posts, twine instead of wire, paper signs on kebab sticks instead of plants , cardboard boxes instead of planters, chairs instead of benches (unless we manage to install them when the cement slab is being repaired), chalk design instead of paint design on the slab. Stall with tea & berry cakes. 16th of September - spreading the mulch - we will need any extra wheelbarrows available 23rd of September - replacing canes with wooden posts, planters to be placed + gravel added to them 30th of September - hanging the wires, filling the planters with compost 7th of October-11th of November - finishing up if we didn't manage to do it in the set times above. 18th of November - planting the berries. For those of you with gardening skills, we might need help on some of the days in that week, to help supervising/teaching the children to plant some of the berries. So far we have 2 schools who want to join in, but no dates confirmed yet. 25nov or 13th of January or dates around this, weather permitting - artist to paint the design on the cement slab, volunteers to fill in the colours. June 2018 - Grand Opening event!
Dear all! We're starting to work on the delivery of the project and the first step is to make the planters for the berry bushes that will be laying on the cement slab. We are very fortunate to have The Retired Gentlemen Woodworking Group on our side, who have volunteered to make them, so it's now just a matter of buying the materials for them. It's our first buy, so let's hope everything goes well!