Image from London Orchard Project
What a great name for a grant: the 2010 Timberland Earthkeepers Grant. The winners of the prize really are keepers of the environment; they include an urban orchard, a guerrilla gardening scheme, a city farm and an allotment garden. All are located in south London and each is a worthy recipient of the £2,000 of funding that they will receive to pursue their respective projects.
The London Orchard Project aims to plant fruit trees in London... They find and harvest existing fruit trees so that the bounty does not go to waste and they negotiate with authorities and residents to use surplus and ignored land to plant mini-orchards. They train future orchard growers. What a wonderful use of abandoned corners of the community.
Image by B. Alter
Pimp Your Pavement is another winner--the name and the game. TreeHugger was at one of their semi-guerrilla events. The local residents planted flowers and upgraded a local square. They are relieving the local authority of responsibility of planting and maintaining neighbourhood patches. It is good for the area, but then again, what are we paying taxes for....
Image by B. Alter
Spitalfields City Farm is an adorable little urban farm in the middle of a poor and highly populated east end area of London. They keep animals and introduce children and adults in the area to all the wonders of nature and animal husbandry.
Other winners include St. Lukes Community Centre and Lewisham Hostel's growing project. The Lewisham Homeless Families Growing Project works with homeless families to transform the hostel's land into a vegetable garden, plus use it as an educational tool.
As part of the award, Timberland will help promote the projects within its London stores and get its employees to help out as volunteers.
To determine the winners, the Timberland earthkeepers English arm worked with Project Dirt, an environmental community in Wandsworth, in south London. Project Dirt acts as a sort of clearing house and gathering point for all the projects taking place in the London borough of Wandsworth. Set up in 2008 by two enthusiasts, it now includes more than 360 community groups, and almost 3,000 members. Sounds like they deserve a prize too!