An empty piece of land surrounded by busy St Pancras station to the East, the imposing wall of the British Library to the South, the huge glass building of the Francis Crick Institute to the North and then the amazing and diverse neighbourhood of Somers Town to the West.
Imagine this empty piece of land filled with plants, pollinators and people, young and old learning from each other and all of us learning from the rhythms, patterns and cycles of nature that surround us. With a proud history of social housing, estates built around big courtyards, Somers Town has suffered and continues to suffer from construction taking place in and around its community. Sandwiched between new shiny developments on either side and Euston Road on the other, demolitions of green spaces, open spaces and housing is making place for Crossrail and HS2. With two secondary schools, three primary schools and two nurseries, some 2,000 children and young people come to Somers Town every day to work and play. Many of these children and young people are and will be experiencing high levels of noise and dust pollution over the coming years.
Through the many consultations undertaken by Camden Council, Universities and local groups, a recurring theme runs through all responses - the need for more green space which is created with and for the Somers Town community.
Global Generation has been working in the local area for 14 years, bringing together people across ages, backgrounds and sectors to find common ground through hands-on and reflective activities, breathing life into concrete and bare spaces and creating new ways of being together based on connection instead of separation, collaboration instead of competition.
Together with the school children, young people and residents of Somers Town, construction workers and local business employees, and with the support of the British Library and Stanhope who are letting us use the space until permanent development starts, we are so excited to start the journey of the Story Garden, transforming the empty piece of land into a community garden and space.
As with the Skip Garden and Paper Garden, the build will be slow and in itself an excuse to bring people together, learn new skills, share experiences and step away from our day to day. The Story Garden will have a few key features which we have found support community building - a garden to nurture and to draw strength from; a kitchen to cook together in and to share a home-cooked meal; and a roundhouse building to gather in, share stories and learn from each other. The space will also offer new opportunities and will be able to accommodate much more growing space, in which we suggest having a community allotment and plant nursery. Central St Martins and Somers Town Community Association will also build a MAKE space on site. And then there is still lots of space purposely left for the unknown to develop ideas together.
The build of the garden is planned to start in March and April 2019 and will continue over the summer. If you like building, making, using your hands, learning, gardening, cooking, meeting new people, or just want to find out more, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read the full press release here.