Young­sters are dig­ging new com­mu­nity gar­den

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By MAYA BLACK

THE site of a former Con­ser­va­tive Club has been trans­formed into a gar­den pro­duc­ing its own fruit and veg – with young peo­ple lead­ing the way.

Found close to the Manch­ester Youth Zone, on Rochdale Road, Harpurhey, the new com­mu­nity space in­cludes planters, raised beds and seat­ing, with a liv­ing wall area where res­i­dents can pick their own fruit, veg­eta­bles and herbs.

The project be­gan in the au­tumn, with young peo­ple from the Youth Zone work­ing with not-for-profit en­vi­ron­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion Ground­work Greater Manch­ester and fun­ders Manch­ester coun­cil.

The young vol­un­teers and staff from Ground­work planted the green­ery, which will im­prove air qual­ity by fil­ter­ing air­borne pol­lu­tion par­ti­cles and emis­sions from lo­cal traf­fic.

Plans are in place for a range of work­shops to be held in the gar­den, to im­prove lo­cal res­i­dents’ per­sonal de­vel­op­ment, prac­ti­cal and em­ploy­a­bil­ity skills, while young peo­ple from the Youth Zone will lead on quar­terly com­mu­nity clean-ups in the gar­den and help main­tain the area.

Manch­ester Youth Zone is part of a na­tional char­ity for young peo­ple, On­Side Youth Zones, which has 13 cen­tres across the coun­try and was re­cently voted North West Char­ity of the Year.

Coun Rab­nawaz Ak­bar, Manch­ester coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for neigh­bour­hoods, said: “Cre­at­ing com­mu­nity spa­ces such as this makes a real dif­fer­ence to res­i­dents’ lives, by bring­ing them to­gether in an area they can take pride in.”

Young­sters work­ing on the gar­den

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