If you are looking for a project to raise the profile of your group as well as raise awareness of the the need to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, the Shady Lanes Project model of planting nature strips in your area is a easy, public, and most of all doable, project for changemakers.
It works on several levels
- you have an shared activity that group members can do regardless of COVID lockdowns and isolation
- members plant their own nature strip gardens to make a public statement that they care about nature and start conversations in their neighbourhood
- each verge garden creates a place for conversations with the wider community to spread your message.
- posting their nature strip stories (like this) on the Shady Lanes website and shareable on social media reaches a wider audience and builds momentum and pathways to collaborations with other groups
Every listing that your members creates spreads your message and links back to your page with all of your members listed.
Verge gardens have become more common over the past few years but not all fit within the framework of Shady Lanes.
Below is the criteria that must be met to achieve the goals of increasing biodiversity and building conversations to advocate for action on climate change.
- Gardens must comply with the local council guidelines.
- Plants should be predominantly native plants indigenous to the region grown for habitat and soil health.
- These gardens support street trees that are planted and maintained by Councils – roots must not be disturbed and trunks must be clear of mulch or soil buildup.
- This is slow, low-impact gardening for biodiversity – with no herbicides or pesticides.
- If a complaint is made gardeners and the group must work cooperatively with Council to address the matter.
Where Do You Start
Group project leaders should do the short course Verge Garden Basics – Understanding the Space so they understand the principals and can decide whether their group wants to participate. It’s free and doesn’t take long.
The course will give you an understanding of the social issues around verge gardening so that you can manage your members and ensure your program is a success. At the last step in the course, follow the instructions for applying for a network account.