TreeHugger is a big believer in community, and community environmental action. We've just posted our guide on How To Green Your Community, and a big part of that revolves around the creation and preservation of community gardens, city farms, and other green spaces for positive environmental action. Last year we covered the ultimately unsuccessful struggle to save LA's South Central Farm from developers. Now we are hearing of another important project that is under threat, and this time it's in this TreeHugger's backyard.
Just a few minute's walk from downtown Carrboro, North Carolina, there's a quiet, wooded 10 acre plot of land that has been used by green activists for the past year and is home to gardening projects, an outdoor movie theatre located inside an abandoned historic community pool and an innovative bike maintenance and repair project known as the ReCYCLEry (more on the ReCYCLEry to follow in a separate post). Now the owners of the land are putting it up for sale, and the groups that have been using it are fighting eviction. All is not lost, however, as they have formed a vision for the Carrboro
Greenspace, a community resource run by a non-profit organization which will seek "to be a public space where all people can enjoy and engage with their local environment(s) and work to developing truly sustainable ways of living."
The group's current priority is raising money, through larger and smaller donations, in order to be able to buy the land, or find someone to donate it and turn it into an easement. They are also working hard to invite the community to use the space and visit various events. In this way the community can share in the vision of the Carrboro Greenspace and this unique and rare piece of land in the heart of Carrboro. The Carrboro Greenspace is intended to be more than just another park or recreation ground, but rather a space in which community members can become involved in developing and encouraging real, lasting social change towards truly sustainable lifestyles:
"For us, the term environment includes but cannot be limited to nature. Our political, social and cultural environments clearly affect our treatment and perceptions of nature, and vice versa. As such environment necessarily implies a combination of natural, social, cultural and political aspects. This is why this Greenspace is also a center for community and sustainability, two terms we believe are mutually and inextricably related, and emphasize the kinds of political and social conditions we believe are necessary for real and effective forms of sustainability. In addition, in contrast to the prevailing tendency to separate public, community and recreational spaces, from research, educational, and deliberative entities, the Greenspace seeks to integrate them."
Any TreeHuggers with spare cash, or time, to help these guys out are encouraged to get in touch. Community-owned green spaces like these are a vital resource for keeping in touch with nature, and for retaining control over our own environments.