Mitcham Lane Baptist Church's 'Garden of discovery' created on wasteland in Streatham
A new community garden has been created on an area of wasteland that has for many years been an “eyesore” to residents of Streatham.
On Saturday, September 14, more than 200 people attended the opening ceremony of the Mitcham Lane Baptist Church’s new “Garden of Discovery” – the £140,000 project that has transformed the long-neglected area into a “haven in the urban environment”.
MP for Tooting Sadiq Khan, who performed the opening ceremony, said: “It is a great pleasure to have been asked to be a part of the opening celebrations of the Garden of Discovery at Mitcham Lane Baptist Church and to see first-hand how this much needed investment has completely transformed the garden, from an uninviting eyesore, to a welcoming garden, open to everyone.”
Funding for the work came from several sources, including the Veolia Environmental Trust and Western Riverside Environmental Fund, who awarded grants of £32,652 and £23,000 respectively through the Landfill Communities Fund.
The project received huge support from people in the community and local ward councillors. A significant part of it involved reshaping the exterior of the adjacent community hall to make space and improve access and visual appeal. The garden is also accessible to wheelchair users and those with limited mobility.
When planning the space, plants were specially selected to create a calming and attractive environment all year round, providing the atmosphere for rest and exploration to all local residents.
Rev Phil Barnard said: “This project has been long in the planning and it was wonderful to celebrate the opening. It is great for the church to be at the heart of a project which seeks to renew the urban environment and we’re excited about how the Garden of Discovery will develop in the months and years ahead.”
The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, said: “We are really happy to hear that this project was opened on Saturday and I am glad to hear everyone has a good time, despite the rain.
“This work is an excellent example of how the Trust and the Landfill Communities Fund can help transform our urban landscape for the benefit of everyone.”
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