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Urban Gardening Project To Transform Hackney’s Stations

A volunteer urban gardening organisation have been working to transform Hackney’s overground stations, the Hackney Gazette reports. Energy Garden is a London-based transformation gardening project, which has been going since 2011. They work with community groups across the city to improve green spaces.

The 300 member-strong organisation focuses its efforts around train stations, growing edible plants at 30 locations across London. Recently, they have been working on Hackney’s overground stations at Rectory Road, Hackney Downs, Clapton, and Stoke Newington.

Kyle Baldock is the community engagement and communications lead for Energy Garden.  He also functions as the volunteer coordinator for Rectory Road, where he oversees a group of about 25 volunteers. 

Kyle, from Clapton, said: “Covid has been critical for us getting a lot more volunteer interest, especially from a younger demographic. Throughout the different lockdowns, we’ve been able to work with the rail, the council, and with our volunteers to make sure that we can still look after the gardens and keep everyone safe at the same time.”

Kyle told the Gazette that the new volunteers are helping to tend the raised beds and planters at Rectory Road. He said that as soon as the weather warms up, they will be planting abundant amounts of bulbs, seeds, and plants for food. Once grown vegetables have been harvested, the organisation encourages volunteers to take them home.

Energy Garden are keen to demonstrate that even functional urban spaces such as train stations can be a source of life and community bonding. The Rectory Road project have joined forces with the Nightingale Residents Association, which represents the Nightingale Estate.

James MacDaid lives on the Nightingale Estate and also volunteers for the Rectory Road transformation project. He is keen to get more local Hackney residents involved in improving the community through volunteer activities.

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