Community Garden – Pembroke East Central - C16

By MP Michael Weeks

Today, I am pleased to announce the start of an initiative to improve the lives of the people who call this community, home, The Friswell’s Hill Community Garden.

This initiative began with a desire within the community to address antisocial behaviour around a vacant plot of land in the Friswell’s Hill area. In conjunction with members of the Friswell’s Hill United group, meetings were held to discuss solutions to not only address the antisocial behaviour but to identify a positive use for this space.  I believed that creating a space that was not only aesthetically pleasing but beneficial to the community at large through a Residential Park and a Community Garden would be able to achieve these goals.

I was able to ascertain, that the land was owned by the Ball Family and I reached out to the family in question and speaking with Ms Kim Ball, the family agreed to the idea. After some negotiation, it was decided, that for three (3) years without any cost to the community, the Ball family would allow the use of the plot of land, as a Community Garden space, which would be maintained by the residents of the community.

I am appreciative of the partnership, created, between the Ball family and our community. I and the Friswell’s Hill United group, know that this action will be beneficial to the residents in the area and potentially assist the young men in and around the Friswell’s Hill area, in learning the skill of Horticulture, while at the same time, sharing produce grown, with the area constituents. This is vitally important, particularly, during this challenging time of Covid-19, where many are out of work and would be appreciative of the fresh vegetables or fruits that are grown in the Community Garden that unfortunately too many of our people can’t afford.

I want to thank Island Construction, who have agreed to assist with the cleanout of the plot. I thank the Ball family, for their free lease of the land and helping this vision to be realized.

Finally, I’d like to thank the area residents, for their commitment to safety. Pembroke East Central is a great family-oriented community, which despite its challenges, continues to pull together and help each other whenever needs arise.  With that community spirit and unity, I envision this Community Garden as an opportunity and a way to provide a vibrant green space, which will be advantageous to the neighbouring properties and improve the quality of life for the families of Constituency 16.