The new-look Greener Neighbourhoods initiative is preparing to launch this weekend with four keen groups participating. We’ve got two in Paekākāriki – too big and spread out to be one group but planning to work together where they can – another in Raumati and a fourth in Otaihanga.
Maybe “launch” is a bit on the formal side, as these groups have mostly all got together already and are getting underway with their plans. Perhaps it’s the official welcome and celebration. Councillor Diane Amundsen will be there in the stead of Mayor Ross Church to wish them well, as will some of the judges and participants from previous incarnations of this project. No doubt there will be plenty of networking and story-telling going on over the cuppas and cake.
The new model with its smaller entry group – a minimum of five households – and relaxed neighbourhood boundaries is proving popular. Neighbourhood sizes start at five households, though most are over a dozen, with more joining in as they see that it’s not that scary. The relaxed geographical boundaries have been a benefit in this way – we’re seeing a trend towards blocks of joined-up streets, which should make for some social walks around the block in the future.
And our lovely support people have been as generous with their time as ever. Thanks to all of you. This year we are asking all groups to participate in five compulsory activities, and then giving them a bunch of interest-based optionals.
- Ecological footprinting ǀ Stacey Gasson, Council’s Sustainable Communities Coordinator
- Reduce your waste with a waste audit ǀ Simon Calcinai, Council’s Waste Minimisation Officer
- Nutrient Recycling ǀ Hannah Zwartz, Council’s Green Gardener
- Liquid gold: smart water use and water conservation ǀ Ben Thompson, Council’s Water Use Advisor
- Warmer, drier and healthier homes with Home Eco Design ǀ Richard Morrison, Council’s Eco Design Advisor
- Civil Defence Challenge ǀ Scott Dray, Wellington Emergency Management Office ǀ 26 – 28 September
- Biodiversity in your backyard ǀ Rob Cross, Council’s Biodiversity Advisor
- Free in-home visit: make your home warmer, drier, healthier and more cost-efficient ǀ Richard Morrison, Council’s Eco-Design Advisor
- Sustainable and Waterwise Gardening Advice ǀ Hannah Zwartz, Council’s Green Gardener ǀ Workshops available include building a biodigester; crop rotation and companion planting; seed sowing; basic permaculture design; basic seed saving; green manures, mulch and no-dig gardening; fruit tree pruning and companion planting; top ten herbs for Kāpiti; seasonal crops; growing plants from cuttings; natural pest and disease control; growing great citrus; and drought-tolerant landscaping.
- What could sustainable living look like? ǀ Professor Brenda Vale, Victoria University of Wellington
- Controlling Pest Animals ǀ Geoff Osgood, Paekakariki Rat Pack
- Predator trapping ǀ Department of Conservation ǀ Wednesday 27 August, 1 – 3pm ǀ Rotary Hall at Kāpiti Community Centre, Ngahina Place, Paraparaumu
- Make your own eco-cleaners ǀ Daisy Wood and Stacey Gasson
- Build a Solar Cooker ǀ Geoff Benge
- Keeping Bees ǀ Pete Mackie
- Getting to school the active way ǀ Brent Cherry, Council’s School Travel Planner
So as of next week it’s all go! If you’d like to receive fresh updates directly to your email inbox, we’d love you to sign up to follow the blog. Watch this space as the adventures begin and prepare to be inspired.