Despite its small size, the town of Markoušovice in Eastern Bohemia is the epicentre of many interesting community projects. Not least among them is a new and improved village green that local residents helped to design and build.
The ideas bubbling forth from Markoušovice’s very active citizenry have been supported through two Via Foundation programs: our T-Mobile “Let’s Talk” grant program which addresses communication in communities and our “The Community in Which We Live” program, through which we provide grants, consultancy and training, thanks to our partnership with the companies NET4GAS and Hornbach.
What happens when people get together to design and build a new village green? Here’s a report from Markoušovice to give you an idea:
The day we’ve been waiting for so long has finally arrived. After all the ups and downs we’ve been through and many volunteer work days, we finally got the cement foundations of our new gazebo, bells and amphitheatre laid. That set the structure for the whole site and enabled us to proceed with planting. The final element was the bell structure, which is still surrounded by scaffolding as you can see on the photo below.
In the morning of our big planting day, the landscape supplier brought tree and shrub plantings and the head of our work teams divided up the work among all of our volunteers. We had more than 40 adults and a huge flock of kids who were also eager to help out. That’s a lot given our town has a population of fewer than 400 permanent residents.
One member of our planning team was in charge of our “Adopt a Tree” program. People signed up with her and then planted “their” trees under the guidance of a landscape professional. A total of 41 trees were adopted and after all of those were planted, the remaining shrubs and trees were put in the ground.
The next step was mulching on the sloped part of the site and placing logs on the slope to prevent erosion (third photo) while another work team built a campfire circle. Each work team focused on a particular task – planting, laying bulwarks, placing logs or mulching – according to our work plan.
Refreshments were provided by our local firefighting team. That gave us extra motivation and after about six hours of hard work, we were done and could place ourselves in the care of the firefighters. There was a beautiful view of the freshly planted site from the refreshment area.
And people naturally began talking about getting things ready for the grand opening celebration, which will take place on Friday, October 28th, on the national holiday. That quickly led to a discussion of all the tasks that need to be completed before the grand opening and whether we’ll be lucky with the weather or not. Just in case conditions don’t allow for the “dry” event program that day, we have a “wet” version ready.
Either way we are all looking forward to sitting down together and gazing at what we built together!