Community engagement in transitioning North Epping to a resilient and connected living place
What a nice day we've had today. Hope people had the chance to get out and enjoy it.
Onto Transition Epping info... First we are creating a community garden for refugees to help them out with their seed raising and vegetable growing at the back of the Epping Hub. Transition Epping are running the workshop with funding from the Bendigo Bank. The Community Garden at the Hub will be a kitchen/herb garden for all. This will be from 9am till 2pm on Saturday the 4th of May 2013. The Epping Hub is located at 6 Chester Street, Epping right next to the Uniting Church. Please bring gloves, water, a hat, clothes you don't mind getting soil on and sturdy closed-toe shoes. We will supply plants, expertise (in the form of Cameron Little and others), tools and materials for making the garden bed. Refreshments and lunch provided. Enquiries and RSVP Transition Epping Coordinator: Sandra Nichols 0438415715
Next we also have our new newsletter out! Check it out at: http://eepurl.com/yDhD9
Lucinda Coates a fantastic Transition Epping e-list subscriber is having a permaculture open day for her garden. See the link below. Its open from 9am-3:30pm they day after our Raised beds-making workshop for the Epping Hub. Woah! A really vege-garden weekend all round! http://www.permacultureday.org/event/open-townhouse-garden/
I have finally finished removing the flower-heads from the Transition Epping Roma Street carpark garden's giant perennial basils. Phew! So many flower-heads and had to do it in 2 stages to stop the angry swarm of bees plotting their revenge on me removing one of their local food sources.While I was there it was really interesting to see some of the little organisms using the garden I saw a few pale-flecked garden sunskinks (Lampropholis delicata) basking in the sun as well as some little black native bees (tetragonula and Austroplebeia spp.).
Lastly, we have had a change in our committee, Wendy has decided she will no longer be with us as part of the committee but will try to still come to some events. Transition Epping thanks for all her amazing hard work as part of the committee particularly with looking after the table at our events and doing what she could for the Epping Community Bus and with trying to get a feasability study for some improvements done. Thanks Wendy!!
Think thats all for now and hope everyone has a good rest of the weekend.
Mark, Sandra and the Transition Epping Community.
Seems like I've had a busy 2 weeks so apologies for the late notice but this Saturday 23rd February is our first event! This will be a Weed and Feed event at the North Epping, Roma Street Car Park Garden. We are weeding and feeding the garden with fresh compost and then feeding ourselves at Beanstop with coffee and cake afterwards. This will be on from 9am and should only go for an hour or so depending on how many turn up, so please do join us. All welcome. Bring along some gardening gloves and a trowel and take home some fresh organic herbs for your efforts.
Also, please see below a petition sent to me by a friend who is having similar issues with their local council regarding tree removal and pruning. Please do sign the petition if you can! Only have a few days left as their presenting it on the 2nd of March. http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/north-sydney-council-prevent-pruni...
Thanks for reading and hope to have some more timely updates soon for our future events.
Mark, Sandra and the rest of the Transition Epping Team
P.S. Don't forget to email Sandra Nichols at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be on our e-list.
Glad to be back to blogging as have finally found the time and can let people know whats been happening.
So since I last posted on this blog we have had a family bushwalk along the STEP Track from the end of Boundary Road, North Epping to Turramurra and back. It was a great day with a newly updated track put together by the Downes Street East Bushcare with help from National Parks and Council. Feel free to take the work yourself.
Another item in the second half of last year was the Recycled Art competition which was at the North Epping Village Fair. It was a great success with some very happy and deserving winners. Below are the winning artworks
Open Category Winner
(excellent use of bottle caps)
"Zac the Budgie"
People's Choice Winner
(great use of bread tags!)
"Leo the Fluffy Lion"
Primary School Winner
(fluffy coat made from plastic bags)
So all in all it was a great if busy year with many events happening and some great community spirit being had by all.
Now onto 2013!!
We have now had our Transition Epping Brainstorming meeting for this year and so have some dates for events that you can all have a sneak peak at :)
These are in calendar month order:
- Saturday 16th February - weed n' feed (Weeding the community garden in North Epping followed by coffee and cakes at the local dehli)
- Sunday 17th March - 'hug-a-tree' Significant Tree ID Day. The idea is to walk around the local area and take note of trees of local natural and historical significance. If anyone knows some history about a special please let us know and we might even have you take part of the walk!
- Saturday 14th May - Roma Street Park Community Garden Workshop. This will be with Cameron Little who is a great environmental educator who had such a success last year with revamping the Epping North Public School veggie garden. Everyone got so excited and involved! Cameron will show everyone how to set up the garden beds which will culminate in the formation of another community garden. Afterwards people can take a sheet home detailed what we did and how we did it so they can do it at home.
- Tuesday 18th June - Film evening where we will be showing "Home". The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. "Home" is about the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet.
- Saturday 20th July Guerilla gardening - Planting out the "garden islands" in Oxford Street. More details to come.
- Saturday 10th August - Local craft and produce trail around North Epping. Honey, dyes etc.
- Sunday 8th September - Family bushwalk from North Epping to Pennant Hills Park.
- Sunday 13th October - Workshop - potentially beer making.
- November 2013 - North Epping Street Fair and Art Prize. Potentially also the Twilight Markets.
Thanks everyone who is still reading after a mega-post of Transition Epping goodness!
To find out more about us email email@example.com and ask to be put on our regular e-newsletter list which has news and event updates.
• Future Events in 2012: Events for the remainder of 2012 include a film night , a local bushwalk and a workshop to learn some practical skills. We have regular get-togethers to weed our community gardens and post-weeding coffee. We will also participate in local fairs and stalls eg the North Epping Street Fair, where members of the local community are able to sell their produce or craftwork..
• Buy Local Campaign Transition Epping is an avid campaigner for Buy Local in order to promote the concept of a reduction in costs of travel (both financial and environmental). We are looking at how to promote this in the community.
• Valuable Trees: Transition Epping is also concerned that with a change in the Hornsby Council tree preservation order the protection for many of our beautiful trees in Epping is lost. We plan to compile a list of significant trees in North Epping to submit to Council to encourage them to consider compiling a list for the whole of Epping. If you would like to be involved then please contact Sandra on 0438 415 715 or else email a photo of the tree with its location to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Epping North Public School vegie garden working bee in March 2012 was a big success! Over 20 families joined Transition Epping committee members on a fabulous sunny day in March to revamp the garden under the guidance of Cameron Little, principal of Sustainability Systems and well-known permaculturalist. A parent/community committee to manage the garden will be set up soon. If interested please contact parent Michelle Stern on 9877 0237 or email email@example.com.
• Herb planting at Forest Park in Forest Grove, Epping. On the Saturday 28 April from 10 am to noon, more than a dozen people turned up to plant herbs in the raised brick fence at Forest Park on 28 April. There was lots of enthusiasm and everyone pitched in to turn an eyesore into a community benefit. If you live nearby, please help care for the plants. In spring they should be ready for some harvesting!
2011 and 2012: Past and ongoing projects include:
- North Epping Shopping Village garden This project has seen the transformation of the carpark with the planting of herbs, fruit trees and native food plants. Transition Epping received a Bendigo Bank grant for $3,277 for this project.
- Solar panel buying scheme Transition Epping negotiated with Origin Energy for discount solar PV panels. If you are interested in the deal, please either email Mike du Plessis at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call on 0402 310 306.
- Local bus service Researching efficiency options for the local 295 bus service linking North Epping with Epping station and Macquarie Shopping Centre. We have a report on this which we are all reading.
- Events and stalls Speakers on themes of interest, local guided bushwalks, and stalls at the North Epping Street Fair and Epping Twilight Christmas Market where members of the local community are able to sell their produce or craftwork.
TRANSITION EPPING OFFICIAL LAUNCH
After our formation a year ago and a successful series of sustainability workshops earlier in the year, our launch was held on 19 October – over 30 people attended. We had a raffle of locally produced goods such as vegetables, herbs, eggs, biscuits, mini-quiches, jam and honey – all donated by Transition Epping members or supporters! Tim Thornton, a local resident, gave a great presentation about his family’s personal journey towards achieving energy efficiency (and a reduction in power bills of 50%). We had about four tables of swap and share items and lots of information about sustainability initiatives and local businesses to support. Everyone was given an update on our projects (see below). If you expressed an interest on the night in one or more of the projects below one of our committee members will give you a ring over the next week or so to tell you a little more about what we have planned.
- Verge garden at the North Epping Shops: We have offered to assist John Bykerk, owner of the North Epping Shops on the western side of Roma Street, with labour and advice on revamping the verge garden along Roma Street into an attractive and functional food and native garden. John has kindly donated the narrow lawn area at the southern end of the carpark for a community garden and has included our ideas in his landscape drawings for the upgrade! Negotiations with Council are going well.
- Solar technology: We are in the process of finding a reputable supplier of solar panels to negotiate a good deal for local residents wishing to install solar technology and save heaps on power bills. We hope to have our scheme in place very shortly!
- Practical skills workshops We are calling these our TESS workshops (Transition Epping Swap and Share) and we hope to run them bimonthly next year, starting in March with a follow-up visit to Tim’s place to look at his energy saving initiatives. Each workshop will feature our swap and share table for pre-loved goods, a meet and greet session and learning about practical skills such as bicycle maintenance, composting, jam making…anything really that will be of use in the future; it depends on what skills you all have and wish to share. Please get in contact and let us know! Food garden at Epping North Public School Helpers are needed over the summer school holidays to water the garden. We’ve helped build the compost bays. Thank you to Jenni Bennet, Environment Coordinator, for letting us share in this fabulous project!
- Web presence team: We have a presence on the Transition Sydney website at www.transitionsydney.org.au and also a blog at http://transition-epping.blogspot.com. Thank you to Mark who has organised both with help from Don and Colin.
- 295 Bus We will be examining ways to improve the convenience of this service to encourage more patronage.
- MEMBERSHIP: We need members to raise funds for our projects (membership application attached with rates)! We are also considering incorporation (costly with insurance) but are currently auspiced by Permaculture Sydney North.
If any of the above projects appeal to you, please email me back so I can put your name on the list to be contacted when we need help and/or have more information. Transition Epping is about each of us doing something small to spread the load to build a more connected and environmentally friendly suburb. The committee and team members would love to meet you! Various committee and team members will be at the market events below. FRIDAY 12 NOVEMBER Epping Twilight Xmas Market OLHC Oxford St 5pm to 9pm (in the hall) SATURDAY 20 NOVEMBER North Epping Street Fair at the shops 10am to 2pm Kind regards Transition Epping Committee Sandra Nichols (Coordinator 9869 1351; 0438 415 715), Deborah Burt, Juliet, Munro (Treasurer), Louise Brady, Mark Cachia (Web team), Paul Taylor, Al Sibrava, Mike du Plessis (Solar team), Colin Hoving (Solar & web teams), Don Munro (Web team), Martin Nichols (295 Bus team).
OUR MISSION: To explore, promote and implement practical actions for an environmentally sustainable and supportive community in North Epping (and surrounds).
When was Transition Epping formed?
Transition Epping was formed 12 months ago by a committed group of seven community activists. Our group is currently auspiced by Permaculture North and was successful in receiving a small grant from the North Epping branch of the Bendigo Bank for $500 to run a series of eight sustainability workshops on consecutive Saturday mornings from March to May this year in North Epping.
Getting Transition Epping off the ground: our workshop series
First up, we letterboxed 2,000 homes in North Epping and held a public meeting – 40 people turned up. At that meeting we advertised our workshop program and got people to commit to coming along. The workshops attracted from 12 to 15 regulars and featured a guest speaker (preferably local and passionate about their area) who provided information that encouraged individual behaviour change. Topics included energy efficiency, health and wellbeing, waste and greywater, local biodiversity and our ecological footprint, building community, transport and local food production.
What are we working on now?
At the end of the workshop series at our planning workshop a number of projects were chosen for the group to work on. Project teams and a committee were formed. The projects are progressing well and include: a verge garden at the local shopping centre; bi-monthly practical skills workshops; compilation of a community directory; assisting the primary school with their new food garden and a bulk-buying group for green technology. Some ‘viral infection’ is happening already e.g. a presentation to a local gardening group on permaculture to be followed up with a site visit.
Our public launch is planned for Tuesday 19 October at 7:30pm at All Saints Anglican Church, Cnr Malton Road and Devon Street, North Epping.
Coordinator Transition Epping
Ph: 02 9869 1351
Mob: 438 415 715