Four months ago a Green Map for the Green Wedge Warrandyte region in Melbourne’s outer northeast was a germ of an idea. In two days’ time, in conjunction with Bendigo Bank’s launch of its Warrandyte Community Portal the Warrandyte Neighbourhood House (WNH) will launch its Green Map Community website, linking the shires of Manningham and Nillumbik.
After discovering the existence of Green Maps through their links to the Local, Living Economies movement, WNH agreed the Green Map philosophy rang true for our region and supported the proposal to create one. There were ideas of sitting outside the supermarket to gauge public support for the idea and with ringing heaps of people BUT…this didn’t happen…
Looking back I think the idea just hadn’t had time to develop and I got cold feet at the thought of ‘supermarket sitting’ in the middle of winter, thinking of how few people there would probably be on any one Saturday morning!
Why didn’t I ring the people on the list an obliging fellow committee member compiled for me? Apart from the idea, I didn’t have any actual strategy, or even a handout!
I hear this phrase quite often and I think it’s good advice when you’re not totally sure of something. A very basic recommendation you may think but it was very important. I took things slowly and the bits ‘fell into place’. What does that mean?
The committee recommended speaking to a highly regarded Council Environment Officer. This was the first contact with Local Government and very positive.
With talk of the project being well suited to winning a variety of grants, the direction of the project began to change AND we needed a ‘handout’ – a flyer outlining the project. This was written using the Seattle Green Map as an example – two pages only.
Through a general interest in inclusive participation in sustainable development I became involved with Mark Brophy and community-wide creative conversations and met the first of my ‘soul sisters’, who all share an interest in reaching out to both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous grassroots people to ‘Think global, map local’.
We’re all set to launch the website and start fielding questions and emailing out flyers.
With the Christmas silly season upon us, we’re planning a ‘Community Conversation About Our Local Green Map’ for February 2008.
In the meantime we will talk to as many public and private sector groups as possible so these Community Conversations will be truly inclusive and so we can gather as many letters of support as possible to accompany our Grant Application.
Any questions? Are any other Neighbourhood Houses interested?