Greening your neighbourhood

If you are interested in taking part in the Greener Neighbourhoods project, contact our sustainable communities coordinator and they will get in touch as soon as possible.  To download a copy of the guidelines for Greener Neighbourhoods, here. There is also a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the project.

In the meantime….

A good way to keep in touch with local events and opportunities is by joining the Greener Kapiti Facebook page.

Subscribing to On To ItCouncil’s sustainability newsletter – is also good for more in-depth articles. To receive OTI each month, email ontoit@kapiticoast.govt.nz with the subject line ‘Subscribe me’.

A visit from the Council’s Green Gardener is a tried-and-true way to get your neighbours together. Hannah Zwartz offers free 2-hour workshops for groups of 5 or more households. These can be on a topic like composting, pruning, seed saving etc or can be a general walk around a garden giving advice. Call the Council line on 04 296 4700 or 0800 486 486 to book a visit.

Council also has an Eco Design Advisor, Richard Morrison, who will come to your home and provide free advice on making your home warmer, drier and more efficient to run – good for the planet, good for your health, good for your budget. Advice covers the spectrum from free, quick and easy fixes through to renovation suggestions. Richard is also available to talk to community groups and neighbourhoods. Book through the Council line on 04 296 4700 or 0800 486 486.

Kapiti Timebank have a new coordinator – Reece Baker. He’s on a mission to grow trading and to support community projects on the Kapiti Coast. Have a skill or resource to offer? Want or need some help? Start sharing! Starting putting offers up! Put your time to good use, if you can spare an hour here or there, make it known! Timebanking is a great way to get stuff done AND meet lovely local people.

Loads of plans and ideas to reinvigorate timebank trading are in the works, including events, workshops and working bees. If you’ve got thoughts about creating a more resilient, active and vibrant local community he wants to hear from you. Email  info@kapititimebank.org.nz 

Community gardens and orchards are happening in various places in the district – in Raumati South there’s the MOA Community Orchard and Rainbow Court’s neighbourhood garden, there’s a young orchard at Waimeha Lagoon, Waikanae Beach, and a community garden on private property, a community garden in Ames Street, Paekakariki (also on private property using land an elderly neighbour wasn’t able to care for anymore) and a community garden at Otaki College. If one of these gardens is near you, why not get in touch (give me a call and I’ll pass details on)? Community gardens are an excellent way to meet enthusiatic locals, beautify your neighbourhood and pick up some gardening tips. Interestingly, there also seems be a link between community gardens and talented cake bakers….

Another idea we haven’t seen much of in Kapiti, but I think has huge potential, is land-sharing. This is where people with land to spare get together with people seeking space to grow and split the produce.

Got a stream, pocket reserve or bush remnant in your neighbourhood that could use a little TLC? Working bees to plant natives, pick up rubbish and remove weeds benefit everybody and its amazing how much can be accomplished in just a couple of hours when neighbours work together. Council can supply gloves, bags and rubbish collection for clean-ups and may be able to supply plants for revegetation and weed advice. Get in touch.

Street parties are always excellent and Christmas is the perfect excuse. Actually, I’m regularly surprised by the number of streets in the district who used to have street Xmas parties or have been holding them for years.

Neighbours’ Day Aotearoa is on 28-29 March 2015. This often appeals to neighbourhoods getting to know each other as it’s a formal event – and another excuse for a party or BBQ. The Council has supported NDA in the past with some basic supplies and info and will probably do this again.

Wellington Region Emergency Management Office have a ‘Prepared Neighbours Edition’ of their civil defence booklet. This can be a great icebreaker for a neighbourhood and is hugely valuable, especially if you have vulnerable people living near you. From completing your own ‘Prepared Household’ plan, to identifying your neighbours and getting together, right through to assigning responsibilities and mapping your street, this simple guide spells out the process. See the WREMO website to download a guide, request a printed copy and find more ideas.

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