Halfway Community Park
Grantee: Southside Housing Association
What are we going to do?
Southside Housing Association, in partnership with the local community and Glasgow City Council, will completely transform a currently underused, awkward to access and bland open space at Moss Heights to make a community park. Halfway Park will be landscaped to allow easier access for all, to greatly enhance and enrich the flora and fauna of the local area and offer a range of opportunities for people to get involved with, from community growing and learning to cycle, to volunteer tree care and gardening apprenticeships.
Where did the idea come from?
Southside Housing Association have recently carried out a major programme of refurbishment to high rise properties in the area. Whilst this has enhanced the buildings, access to useable open space remains very limited although this large space is there to be used. Being on a slope, the area requires investment so that its potential can be maximised. It seemed sensible that the building refurbishment would be followed up with a positive plan to turn this greenspace into a local asset.
How communities have helped us develop our ideas
Southside Housing Association carried out extensive door to door and drop in consultations. The proposal was well received and people were forthcoming with their suggestions and preferred options for activities and facilities to be included in the park. These suggestions have been included in the masterplan. Southside Housing Association has since established Friends of Halfway Park who are now key to project development. Local community groups were contacted to see if they would be interested in being part of future developments and many responded positively including: Urban Roots, Southwest Cycles, Community Council, Govan and Craigton Integration Network, CC After School Club, Glasgow Tree Lovers, and Hillington Church. People see the potential of the park for community events including volunteering, conservation and celebration. An early training programme was run to promote awareness during which Modern Apprentices participated in extensive tree planting works.
How the project fits into the bigger picture This project fits with Southside Housing Association’s wider agenda to deliver services, opportunities and facilities improving incomes, life chances, skills and well-being. It also fits with key strategies: at EU level “action to improve the urban environment and revitalise cities’; at national level “well-designed, sustainable places, support people's physical and mental well-being, and satisfaction with neighbourhoods has an important influence on the overall quality of lives.”; and at local level “enable people to use and share the environment with its other living inhabitants. To improve the quality of our lives, - - - - - - a healthy biodiversity is a reflection of a healthy and sustainable community”. (Glasgow Local Biodiversity Action Plan). It fits with the Glasgow Play Strategy 2016-18 and Go Well research which identified access to greenspace as key to public health improvement in Glasgow.
How the project will improve the local area Halfway Park will be a huge asset to the area. It will enhance the natural environment by transforming a currently steep, bland, green open space, criss-crossed unnecessarily by old roads, into a rich, ecologically diverse landscape with an open canopy of native trees, nectar rich hedges, extensive wildflower meadow, herbaceous beds and community growing corners planted with a range of fruit and veg. All this will, in time, help to address climate change and promote native wildlife. Additionally, in an area where local people face all sorts of issues relating to unemployment and low income, it will provide opportunities for supported training and volunteering and even local employment through the set-up of a local maintenance team. Furthermore, in an area which has a high proportion and varied mix of people from ethnic backgrounds, as well as locally born and bred people, Halfway Park, through its community-led management, will provide a place for healthy outdoor activities helping to encourage opportunities for community integration and celebration.