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A community conversation about place-making in East Richmond

From @duronchavis:

Don’t you think it is a shame when gardens get built and nobody from the community takes care of them? They look good for the first couple months but then they get weeded over because there was no community buy in. Let’s talk about how we can change that.

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MP 11/22/2017 at 12:41 PM

As someone who has a lot of background in community initiatives, here’s what I think happens. A few people (let’s call them the Founders) have a cool idea for something (at least to them). With a lot of initial enthusiasm, the Founders manage to pull it off, at least one or two times, or for a short time. But then life takes over, the Founders want to do something else (remember, these people see themselves as “ideas” people, not worker bees) and want to foist this thing onto someone else. And then the Founders get sad because other people don’t want to do their thing for them, and the thing falls apart. And the Founders think other people are lazy or don’t care or something. Or they didn’t get enough community “buy-in”.

Ever thought that these “other people” they’re trying to foist things on might have their own cool ideas they’re working on? Or just might be busy with their own lives and have other priorities? So it’s pretty simple – if YOU have a great idea for something, YOU must put in the sustaining work. You’re not someone special who just has ideas and doesn’t have to do anything besides the initial work. The “ideas” part is easy, and nothing special. The hard part is the sustaining work. People who help maintain something, year after year after year, those are the special people.

MP 11/22/2017 at 2:04 PM

Sorry for the long screed, but this is such a pet peeve of mine. “Why don’t other people do the work for my great idea?” whines so many do-gooder types. Want to be a true do-gooder? Follow through yourself!

MHB 11/22/2017 at 10:06 PM

Here, Here MP. Very well said.

john m 11/23/2017 at 9:48 AM

My understanding is that this meeting is for folks interested in empowering communities to take take ownership of the green spaces where they live. Maybe take the step of creating something nice where they live. Not sure how this is controversial.

We have some stellar green spaces in the East End, with great community support – Jefferson Park, Libby Hill, Gillies Creek, the Tricycle Garden spots, the gardens at the Neighborhood Resource Center and Peter Paul. The model is definitely here and works.

Eds 11/24/2017 at 5:39 PM

MP … all too true.

A pet peeve of mine… garden /green spaces started with school children with no plans for summer. The summmer is when harvesting is at its peak.

Martha J Looney 11/30/2017 at 4:22 PM

I think this is a great idea. If committees are forged, it will live and breathe for a long time. One of the main things that makes CH great is the volunteerism and community engagement. Fortunately, Millennials are very community minded.


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