Grow­ing a great sense of com­mu­nity

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

A com­mu­nity gar­den and ad­join­ing recre­ational space at An­der­son Park in Have­lock North will soon be­come more fam­ily friendly with the in­stal­la­tion of a place to shel­ter for vis­i­tors to the area.

For six years lo­cal vol­un­teers have tended the gar­dens off Man­ga­rau Cres­cent and, with support from a va­ri­ety of lo­cal busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions, have slowly added to the space to pro­vide for other games and ac­tiv­i­ties — such as hoops for vol­ley­ball and bas­ket­ball.

A $6000 grant from the Hast­ings District Coun­cil’s re­cent con­testable fund­ing round will help their ef­forts, to be spent on shift­ing a con­tainer onto the site that will be used as shel­ter for fam­i­lies and groups which reg­u­larly use the park.

Com­mu­nity group co­or­di­na­tor Bob Hall says the lined and al­tered con­tainer had been do­nated by the Sal­va­tion Army, and that the coun­cil fund­ing would be spent on mov­ing it, as well as pur­chas­ing kit­set ma­te­rial to con­struct a roof and lean-to shel­ter.

“At present there is no shel­ter if it rains and no place where groups can gather — this area is fre­quently used for games and fam­ily gather­ings, as well as tend­ing and har­vest­ing the gar­dens.

“Most Sun­day af­ter­noons Peak Vi­sion Church put on a free sausage siz­zle and lo­cal chil­dren and adults come and play, talk and have a snack.

“The idea is to bring in more ac­tiv­i­ties and at­trac­tions to en­cour­age more peo­ple to use the area, and hav­ing fa­cil­i­ties like this will help en­cour­age that, with peo­ple able to take shel­ter no mat­ter what the weather.”

This would build on the ef­forts that had al­ready seen the area be­com­ing some­thing of a com­mu­nity hub, with pro­duce in the gar­dens grown and har­vested by lo­cal res­i­dents.

“A num­ber of peo­ple have taken own­er­ship of a sec­tion of gar­den and plant and main­tain their own area. Other ar­eas are planted in bulk,” he says, aided by do­na­tions of veg­etable plants by lo­cal busi­nesses.

The coun­cil’s so­cial and cul­tural com­mit­tee al­lo­cated grants to 32 com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions in this fund­ing round and com­mit­tee chair­man Mal­colm Dixon says the An­der­son Park com­mu­nity gar­den was a fine ex­am­ple of how lo­cal res­i­dents could support each other to meet a lo­cal need.

“Through de­ter­mi­na­tion, col­le­gial­ity, en­ergy and willpower they have achieved some­thing they should all be proud of.

“The com­mu­nity grants com­mit­tee was de­lighted to be able to as­sist them with the much-needed shel­ter.”

An­der­son Park Com­mu­nity Group mem­bers Bob Hall and Shel­ley Draper say the ad­di­tion of a place to shel­ter will en­hance the com­mu­nity gar­den and sur­round­ing area.

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