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MIT & Clendon Residents To Beautify Streets

MIT works with Clendon residents to beautify streets and empower community

Manukau Institute of Technology has teamed with the Clendon Residents Group (CRG) to ensure that residents are able to affordably beautify and renew their community.

The MIT School of Horticulture has been donating plants to the group for residents to buy for the past three years, with the most recent donation being last week Thursday. This is part of the Clendon Community Renewal Project run by CRG and supported by Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC).

"The initiative provides plants for CRG's community sale which not only assists in providing residents with low cost plants, but also brings in money for the project," says head of School of Horticulture, Jeff Wilson.

Jeff adds that the "high-quality horticulture student plants are much appreciated by the residents and the project provides an ideal and direct method of allowing MIT to assist the local community".

Project manager for HNZC Greg Freeman echoes this, adding that "the feedback is overwhelmingly positive - the residents are always asking when the next plant sale is.

"Heaps of people have said they now have a little 'vege' patch in their backyard as a result of this. And people at the sales are always so happy to tell us how their last plants have done. They keep coming back! The sale day usually turns out to be a great time to meet other residents and stop for a chat."

The CRG was established five years ago with the objective of making Clendon a better place to live. Partnerships such as the one it has with MIT ensures the group steadily achieves its objectives.

"The partnership has enabled the residents of Clendon to get quality plants at very cheap prices. The low price and opportunity to buy them in Clendon are the incentives that lead to more people buying the plants and getting them into the garden," says Neville Travers, chairman of the CRG. "With more interest in gardens, the streets look better as they now have more flowers."

Neville adds that a further positive spin-off of the initiative is the health benefits as through being able to grow their own vegetables people are more encouraged to eat them.

"The residents group is very grateful to MIT and the wonderful School of Horticulture staff for their assistance and support which enables this to keep happening. We value the partnership and hope to work with MIT on other initiatives that will benefit the residents of Clendon."

Jeff adds that the school prides itself on working with its surrounding communities in making them a better place for all to live and work in. The school has active working partnerships with the Manukau City and Franklin District councils, among others.

"Over the past four years the school has donated plants to more than 30 schools, kindergartens and community groups in the Counties Manukau region," says Jeff.

"In addition to the donations, kindergartens and church groups have grown plants under the guidance of horticulture staff as part of the students' practical projects for their Certificate in Horticulture."


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