Community Greenspace – Patrick Geddes Award

The Patrick Geddes Award is Community Greenspaces environmental award scheme.
Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) , the early Scots environmentalist who coined the phrase ‘Think global, act local ‘spent his childhood in Perthshire and attended Perth Academy.

He is well known as a town planner but he’s also described as a biologist, sociologist, conservationist, educationist, and ecologist.

Geddes made use of disused and derelict spaces, however small, to create green spaces and gardens for the local inhabitants to tend and enjoy.

He believed that gardens and green spaces were essential for:

• Encouraging people to be active and to be outdoors
• Producing local food
• Brightening up and improving the local environment
• Community cohesion
• Learning about bio-diversity, life forms, and the changing seasons
• Taking responsibility and stewardship for the local environment

These are the six underlying principles of the proposed award.

To complete the award and receive a certificate in recognition of achievement participants must complete 3 out of the 4 options listed below and spend a minimum of 8 hours on the project.

1. Learning about biodiversity
2. Citizen science
3. Taking responsibility and stewardship for your local environment
4. Growing your own produce

The award is structured so that no matter which of the 3 categories participants choose they will be become environmental volunteers, either for a conservation organisation through a citizen science survey or by carrying out practical tasks to improve their local environment.

Details of what is required to complete these options are shown below.

1. Learning about Biodiversity

This section involves visiting a local greenspace site and learning about ecology and investigating how living organisms in their local area interact with each other.
“How many people think twice about a leaf? Yet the leaf is the chief product and phenomenon of Life: this is a green world, with animals comparatively few and small, and all dependent upon the leaves” (Patrick Geddes).
“Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe” (John Muir).

This could be achieved in a number of ways depending of the abilities of the group. There are numerous environmental games that could be played and other options may include mini-beast hunts, pond dipping and many more.

2. Citizen Science

Citizen Science is the participation of the public in collection of environmental information that contributes to expanding our knowledge of the natural environment, the information collected by participants is passed on to scientists who will use the information to map out where certain species are located.

In most cases the organisers of these surveys provide all the necessary instructions, advice and resources available online. There is a comprehensive list displayed at http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/get_involved/projects.aspx..

Groups could also get involved in Perthshire’s Amphibians in Drains or Salmon in the Classroom projects.

3. Taking Responsibility and Stewardship for Your Local Environment

This involves participants doing something to help brighten up or improve a local greenspaces; this could be done by helping out a local bloom group, paths group or assisting Greenspace Rangers on a PKC Community Greenspace site. It could also be done by raising awareness about certain issues that affect local Greenspaces for example, litter and dog mess. Doing something to promote the Scottish Outdoor Access Code could also fit into this part.

4. Growing Your Own Produce

This would involve participants getting involved in being outside and growing their own produce either at school, at home or at an allotment. It should also include learning about the benefits of growing your own food.
If you are interested in taking part in the award please contact Rarmstrong@pkc.gov.uk who can offer further advice and send you a copy of the project proposal form.

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