Thursday, December 10, 2009

" Plant your rows straight and long; season with a prayer and song; Mother Earth will make you strong if you give her love and care"

The above are lines from "the garden song" by American David Mallett

Dec. 5Th. 09 to Barochan Crs, in the Ferguslie Park Estate on a cold still morning; the fenced off open space behind the houses is strangely busy with children and adults planting trees and shrubs at a frantic pace. Children from Glencoats Primary and residents from St. Ninians Church Social Club along with Ferguslie Park Housing Association and Renfrewshire Council are working like beavers and they are trying to beat a record by planting 800 saplings in an hour; we had to leave before the hour was up but; it looked as though they were going to manage it; apparently they will be in the Guinness Book of Records if they do.

In addition to breaking the record they will have taken the first step toward creating a community Garden which will eventually have a circular walkway around a manicured grassed area surrounded with plants; trees and flowers. There will also be a naturally wild area for birds and insects etc. and picnic areas as well as plots for fruit and vegetables; it is a brilliant idea and the people of the area are showing great enthusiasm for the work.

The main “mover and shaker” in all of this is a local activist named Ian Williams who; along with a couple of like minded friends from St. Ninians has been involved with some fantastic initiatives to help educate and entertain the local youngsters; they are in their own quiet way quite inspirational; they are ordinary local people who are doing something to restore the area they live in to the fine and decent place that it once was. Like most mainly working class areas Ferguslie Park suffered badly as industry was decimated in the eighties and these guys are fighting back. One of their great successes is a fishing club which takes youngsters away every second Sunday on a fishing trip; they teach them the skills of fishing and it is very popular.

With a keen and clever eye to the future; Ian and his team have managed to link into an educational initiative which can train youngsters to Standard Grade level in river protection and conservation skills which in turn can be pursued further at college which opens up career opportunities; these guys are right ‘on the ball’ they are a great credit to themselves the kids and their area; I hope they go from strength to strength.; well done to all concerned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent stuff!
There's a similar project in Glasgow though it's not quite as well developed yet.