We have all been through such challenging times during the Covid-19 pandemic and as an arts organisation, we are constantly looking for different ways to use creativity to support the community. We believe that the Vertical Gardens project will do just that, by bringing the people of Wisbech together again, in the town’s Park, to create something unique.
This exciting new project has been developed in response to feedback given by members of the local Wisbech community during a Social Innovation Lab event and we are grateful to Clarion Futures for agreeing to fund the programme. The aim of the project is to build and grow vertical gardens, which will be affixed to one of the public buildings in Wisbech Park. In effect, these will be ‘living walls’ which will become a focal point that can be enjoyed by everyone.
This is a symbiotic project. Our hope is that the Gardens will bring more wildlife, such as insects and butterflies, into the Park whilst also creating and nurturing new partnerships and relationships within the community. The Gardens will complement the landscape in this beautiful Victorian Park and encourage people to make the most of the open spaces that are available to them in their local area.
We want to make the Park a ‘go to’ venue and plan to host different events, such as gardening workshops and ‘Planting in the Park’ sessions, to bring the community together as the Gardens are being developed. These events will be open to everyone and we want to encourage all ages to get involved. Part of the project will see the launch of a ‘buddy’ programme too, which will see local people supporting and mentoring each other, sharing skills and experience. The hope is that this project will also encourage more people to take up gardening as a hobby as it is recognised that it can help to reduce stress, improve physical and mental health, promote healthy eating and generally make us feel happier.
We want to celebrate the rich cultural diversity that exists within the town too and learn together about what plants and flowers mean in different countries. The plan is to link this project with other events that are being planned to take place in Wisbech and we will begin to work with the organisers of these events over the coming weeks, now that the Vertical Gardens project has been unanimously endorsed by Wisbech Town Council, who are responsible for the building.
The project will offer a great opportunity to learn more about environmental issues and consider how recycled material can be used in different and creative ways. For example, we intend to use plastic soft drink bottles as a low-cost option for the planters which will form the living wall, so we will be asking the community to save and donate their bottles as part of the project over the coming months.
The Vertical Gardens is one of the projects being delivered by the ‘I Love Wisbech’ Partnership, which consists of public, private and third sector organisations who are working to enhance life for the local community and encourage more people to visit this historic town. The Group believes that more can be achieved by working collaboratively and Partners bring a positive approach to projects by supporting each other and recognising the strengths of each organisation.
This will not just be a Blackfield Creatives initiative as we want this to be a community project. Over the next few weeks we will start to make contact with a wide range of organisations that we want to work with to create these Gardens, and begin to develop a network of champions to support us, so if you want to get involved, please do get in touch – our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org