Volunteers find their place in green spaces


28 Jul 2016

New gardens are springing up across the Cairns region as volunteers put their green thumbs forward in the name of suburb beautification.

Green Space Our Place is a volunteer program that encourages residents to get involved in enhancing and maintaining public spaces.

“Green Space Our Place aims to build collaborative partnerships between Council and community, while providing opportunities for residents to engage in rewarding and healthy activities,” Mayor Bob Manning said.

“When residents take an active role in caring for public spaces, it builds a sense of civic pride and of neighbourhood.

“When you feel a sense of ownership over an area, you’re more likely to enjoy that space and to gain enjoyment from others using it. You might also feel more inclined to monitor and protect that space.”

In the six months since its inception, the program has already grown to have more than 150 volunteers from Edmonton to Palm Cove.

“Within the program there is a mixture of individuals and community organisations that want to put in the time to enhance their local area,” Cr Manning said.

“Council provides volunteers with plants, equipment and support to assist residents in enhancing gardens that benefit them and their neighbourhood.”

Among those already making a positive difference within their communities are the members of the Machans Beach Community Association.

The group has created a new Native Coastal Garden in Keith Edwick Park, featuring more than 100 shrubs, ground covers, grasses and trees. All species are native to Redden Island and the surrounding area.

Cr Manning said Council had been working with members of the group for around 15 months to develop a design for improvements to the park.

“Council delivered 20 truckloads of soil and mulch and around 20 volunteers have put their hands up to help keep the area watered and weeded,” he said.

“The effort put in by the volunteers is fantastic – they have a genuine passion for their local area and they’re willing to put in the time to maintain the garden for the enjoyment of everyone.

“We’d love to hear from other groups who have a vision for a local park or open space and work with them in a similar way.

“We also welcome individuals who would like to get involved with an existing group, including those operating at the Cairns Botanic Gardens and Cattana Wetlands.”

Anyone who would like to get involved in volunteering under the Green Space Our Place program is invited to contact Council on 4044 3044.

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