Our story began in the spring of 2021when neighbours in the 2300 block of Inglewood and Haywood Avenues got together to transform a weedy, traffic triangle overgrown with blackberries and thistles into a beautiful green space with planted ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers. This small traffic triangle has since become a gathering place for the community.
Today, in 2022, neighbours continue to work together on this former traffic triangle which we have Christened IngleHay Green. Neighbours regularly weed, water and care for our Green and we gather here to meet, talk and get to know each other better. On Sunday, July 17, 2022 with the support of funding from Neighbourhood Small Grants we held an Emergency Preparedness session at the Green complete with pizza. Over 30 people attended and we had two volunteers from North Shore Emergency Management (NSEM) give a presentation. They came with brochures, games and give-aways, delivering educational and beneficial information on how to prepare for emergencies such as earthquake, wildfire and more. All attendees agreed it was a worthwhile event and they learned something new (and enjoyed the pizza).
On Sunday, September 25th we held a block party with sushi to follow up on what we had learned in July and to find ways to co-operate and help each other should the need arise. Almost 40 people attended and many brought along home-made baked goods, cookies etc. to share. People enjoyed the party and there was much interaction and laughter. Most importantly, we talked about and shared ideas on how we are now more prepared and what else we can do individually and collectively. One idea that came forward was to maintain the Green’s rain water barrel as a source of clean fresh water should the need arise. Another idea was to establish a community group on WhatsApp in order to facilitate communication and support among the group.
The initial grant we received to start the Green brought our community together. The grant we received this year has kept us engaged as a group, better prepared us to deal with emergencies and continue building a strong supportive community. An unexpected benefit is that the Green is not only enjoyed by our neighbours but also by others going by on their way to the shops in Dundarave, or walking to the beach. Almost every day, rain or shine, people can be seen using the bench and enjoying the peace and tranquillity the Green offers.