Since our second event in the summer 2011, we have adopted Platt Fields Park as our home. There has been a recent history of environmental and community art projects being based in the area to the south of the lake, known as the Eco Garden.
This is glade-like area where you can find flower beds, willow structures, a clay oven and a living sofa. The park is a perfect place to escape the frenetic pace of urban life and the Eco Garden is one of the best places in all of Manchester’s green spaces.
Friends of Platt Fields Park
The single biggest factor that makes Platt Fields so special is its community involvement. Nothing symbolises this more than the Friends of the Platt Fields Park who will be celebrating 20 years in 2014.
We have been working closely with the FoPF since January 2012 to become part of the great work that they do.
We have been part of the discussion in the park to think about a new model of community involvement. The thinking is that the current funding and budget situation is not going to have a positive effect on the management of green spaces and that the potential for communities from the parks is not fully realised.
The Anchors – Please click to see the foundations of a new way of working. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
One of the successes of the work in Platt Fields is the monthly Sunday ‘Once A Month’ volunteer days, or OAM’s. These have been running every third Sunday for over 6 years and offer people a chance to participate in improving the park.
We have been helping with these since early 2012 and also run a smaller Wednesday afternoon session which is concentrated on the Eco Garden.
As part of the Anchor concept, groups agree to look after or contribute to an element of the park in return for a given benefit. We have taken on the care of the Eco Garden in order for it to be at its best for the Envirolution Festival.
An added benefit of this has been our access to the Boathouse. We use the space to store and create art installations, signage and anything else creative needed for the event. This often doubles up as community art workshops next to the lake for people who are enjoying the park and happen to wonder by.