Think Global, Map Local! The Warrandyte Neighbourhood House (WNH) recognises how strongly local people feel about their beautiful natural environment in one of Melbourne’s ‘green wedges’ – the last council election was pretty much fought on the preservation of the green wedge.
In the area, the Friends of the Warrandyte State Park, drawing from a wide catchment area is very active; there is the newly formed Warrandyte Climate Action Network producing a very professional community newsletter, several Landcare Groups, an anti-rabbit group, plus, the grassroots Warrandyte community has always been very vocal in its efforts to preserve its village ‘feel’…there COULD have been a four lane highway through its heart but there isn’t!
The wider Warrandyte-Eltham-Kangaroo Ground region is split by the Yarra River but people still tend to gravitate to Warrandyte village for various eco-cultural activities. It is sometimes a bit confusing, funding-wise, with two Councils, Manningham and Nillumbik.
The Neighbourhood House Committee is going to test the water about wide community support for an eco-cultural Green Map that charts local natural, social and cultural resources. Such a project would link together, promote, and share information amongst all those groups and individuals who want to hand on to our kids and grandkids what we enjoy today. The plan would be to published an ‘in the hand’ map as well as develop an ongoing web-based project that would inform locals and visitors alike.
WNH plans setting up a ‘listening post’ outside supermarkets in Warrandyte and Eltham, to see what locals think of the project. They’ve published an article in the local Warrandyte Diary and invited comments. If the project goes ahead WNH, acting in a coordinating role, would run two workshops – an introductory and a consolidation session – to guide each of the community groups involved in whatever facet of the project they choose.
1. Using free Google Maps and open source blogging software such as WordPress or Blogger. In NSW, the Manly community produces the equivalent of a Green Map using Blogger and Google Maps, The Manly Blog, Sydney Sustainability.
2. Using the US NonProfit community-led Green Map movement that exists in over 50 countries. Joining this system would mean the region have a world listing and use internationally recognised icons, which won an award shortly after the project launched in 1996. The Ballona Watershed Green Map is a likely model.
We’ll let you know what the community response is.