THE finalists for this year’s Streets Ahead Awards are an impressive bunch.
There will be eight trophies presented on June 18 – best garden, best clean-up campaign, best environmental initiative, best community garden, best community initiative and best green business, plus a schools award. The overall winner will be chosen from the winners of all the other categories.
Today we reveal who is in contention for the Glasgow City Council Green Business Award, the Best Garden title and the Glasgow City Council Environmental Initiative.
GLASGOW CITY GREEN BUSINESS AWARD
Bike for Good
Well-known city project Bike for Good has two community hubs, one in the west end and the other on the south side, promoting cycling for all.
This fantastic social enterprise runs a range of initiatives, including Wheelbeing, which works with people who have long-term health conditions; VeloCommunities, which aims to get people travelling by bike in a bid to reduce carbon emissions; and the Bike Academy, a training programme for young people.
Building sustainable food networks across Glasgow is at the heart of everything Locavore does.
The Govanhill social enterprise sells local, organic and zero waste foods and goods from a shop and café on Victoria Road, delivers veg boxes to more than 1000 households and grows organic food which it supplies to other local cafes and shops.
“We hope to offer an alternative to conventional supermarket supply chains which don’t look after the environment or society,” explains Locavore founder Reuben Chesters.
Glasgow Wood Recycling
This brilliant project, based in Whiteinch, is on a mission to save wood from landfill and transform it into quality furniture.
It has provided 740 volunteering opportunities and a route to employment for more than 190 people; it has supplied reclaimed wood play equipment to schools and nurseries; and it has set up its own swap shop for the local community.
“We provide a keen sense of community and belonging to our staff and volunteers, centred around our green values,” says Humayra Akbar, who nominated the group.
Erica QuinnBEST GARDEN
Erica’s “pocket-sized tenement front garden” is a source of great joy for her Kelvinside neighbours.
Passers-by and locals alike stop to chat when she is tending the pots and plants, and its beauty is testament to the fact that when it comes to gardens, size isn’t everything.
“Many people wandering by will comment to me that my garden is delightful and an unusual choice in a space most often associated with a hedge and the resulting neighbour disputes over height and tidiness,” smiles Erica. “Other gardeners love to stop and talk shop. I hope it encourages tenement owners to think outside the box when designing their own small garden areas.”
Former Streets Ahead Best Garden winner Gordon is hoping to add another trophy to his collection.
The Balornock man cares for his mother, who loves her garden, and his neighbours and friends often pop in for tips and advice.
“When my father was alive we were always out in the garden,” he explains. “I am out there, rain, hail or snow. It’s a large garden, with a ‘secret garden’ space at the back – it’s a real treat to sit in.
“People in my community ask me to take care of their gardens which is nice – it brings us all together.”
Charles Rogerson, who is also from Balornock, has been tending his beautiful garden for more than 40 years.
“I love to garden and I take pride in keeping my property tidy,” he says. “My granddaughter helps me now and I hope this sows a seed in her mind and develops into a love of gardening.”
GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE
TCV’s Mid-Week Group Volunteers
The Conservation Volunteers Glasgow Mid-Week Group helps to transform parks and green spaces across the city. This year alone, they have planted more than 3000 native trees, litter-picked a large area of Castlemilk Park, created paths, built wooden planters for schools and created insect boxes for many open spaces.
Lauren Lochrie, who nominated the group, said: “As a result, many of Glasgow’s parks and green spaces have more homes for wildlife. Seeing volunteers working in these spaces has inspired others to join, and the volunteers have improved their skills, confidence and health.”
Impact Arts: Creative Pathways
The arts workshops running as part of this ground-breaking project have helped young people develop new skills and raise awareness of environmental issues.
As well as creating artwork for local people in Dalmarnock and building an environmentally-friendly pizza oven in Kinning Park, the young people are gaining valuable work experience and bringing communities together as a result.
Friends of Linn Park
Inspired by teenager Michael Sinclair, a junior member of the conservation group, Friends of Linn Park ran a fantastic project to install 60 bird boxes and 20 bat boxes throughout the south side park.
As well as building and installing the boxes, the group held public events to raise funds and worked with local schools, raising environmental awareness and bringing all age groups together.
Urban Roots are no strangers to Streets Ahead, having picked up the Environmental Initiative and Overall Awards back in 2014.
Their inspirational efforts at Malls Mire Woodland in Toryglen have brought them back to the campaign.
The Malls Mire Conservation Group, run by Urban Roots, is an urban woodland which has been transformed into a thriving community hub and Local Nature Reserve.
It has turned a ‘no go’ area into a lovely woodland and wetland, with improved paths, free community events, outdoor learning and mental health programmes and more, and none of it would have been possible without the hard work of the weekly volunteer group.
Don’t miss the Evening Times tomorrow and on Friday for more of this year’s sensational Streets Ahead finalists.