Community-owned fibre broadband provider, Enable, has partnered with a local children’s gardening group to plant and grow flower gardens on an empty site on a residential street that houses one of their Central Offices (CO’s) in Christchurch East.
Enable’s building on the site is a small structure located in the corner far away from the footpaths and public, which left a large area unused. As the CO houses Enable’s network equipment and is deemed a commercial site the possible uses of the land were limited. Enable began work to identify potential uses for once the build had been completed and find groups in the local community who could benefit from the use of the empty site.
A local children’s gardening group who already meet at, and tend to, the local Shirley Community Garden, jumped at the chance to add another garden to their roster and have recently planted plants within the planter boxes, all of which were provided by Enable. The children’s gardening group will maintain the site, along with the other site in they look after in the community.
Enable CEO, Johnathan Eele believes the partnership has a great fit with Enable’s community focus, “As Enable are 100% owned by the people of Christchurch we were keen to find a way of utilising our site to benefit our people. We put the call out to the local community, and we are excited to be able to partner with local children in a project that helps not only beautify the area but also provides a skillset such a gardening”
Local resident Emma O’Connell, who is involved in the gardening group, along with her two daughters, was pleased to be able to add another site to their roster “The opportunity to plant and grow the garden from the bare soil, with support from Enable, was exciting for the children. They learn such great skills and feel very proud of the contribution they make to the community”.
Enable are currently looking across other Central Office sites to see if a similar initiative can be rolled out.