The aim of the Shady Lanes Project is to scale the conversion of barren grass verges to predominantly native verge gardens supporting street trees to address the social and environmental and economic needs of communities.
This is especially important in the more disadvantaged suburbs that are already feeling the effects of the increasing urban heat islands and a lack of quality greenspace.
The initial conversion is the hurdle and so the proposal is that we can scale this work by nurturing a loosely-connected network of autonomous, community-led, localised, projects that create entry-level, meaningful work for diverse people within their own communities. This is "scaling across" rather than the more common heirarchical "scaling up".
Major strengths of this model are that the land is already available and it is usually maintained by adjacent residents or businesses. Many Councils already have the policies in place with more coming on board.
The only funding required is for the workers during this initial phase and because it is public land and addresses multiple problems that funding can be found from a variety of sources.
The Shady Lanes Project offers communities an open-source or creative commons framework and support network for them to decide how, and if, they want to use it.
To join us on this journey please take the free basic course on verge gardening.