Gar­den con­nects the com­mu­nity

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABA­DIA

Com­mu­nity gar­dens and mo­tor­way projects might not seem like two things that go to­gether, but that’s be­cause the Well Con­nected Al­liance likes to do things a lit­tle dif­fer­ently.

The multi-agency team in­volved in the Water­view Con­nec­tion Project has set up an in­for­ma­tion cen­tre and gar­den at a Valo­nia St property in Mt Roskill.

It’s also of­fer­ing the house as a place where com­mu­nity groups can hold meet­ings.

It’s part of the al­liance’s ef­forts to cre­ate bet­ter lives for its work­ers as well as the com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by the con­struc­tion, NZTA com­mu­ni­ca­tions ad­viser He­len Cook says.

The veg­etable gar­den opened to the pub­lic in Oc­to­ber and the house two months later.

Around 12 vol­un­teers gather on Wed­nes­days be­tween 4pm and 6pm when plant­ing, weed­ing and har­vest­ing takes place.

Vol­un­teers also visit at other times to wa­ter and weed, com­mu­nity gar­den co-or­di­na­tor Diane Smith says.

Gar­dens for Health project man­ager Richard Main says the ben­e­fits of ed­i­ble gar­den­ing are well known but what people don’t tend to fo­cus on as much are the psy­cho­log­i­cal ben­e­fits.

The house is open on Wed­nes­days from 2pm till 6pm, and on on Fridays from 10am till 2pm.

There will be an open day on April 12 at 4 Valo­nia St from 10am till 2pm fo­cus­ing on ur­ban de­sign projects which will ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing a pro­posed skate park, new sports fa­cil­i­ties, cy­cle­ways and raised walk­ways.

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