Caring for the Gardens
Two events took place in the courtyards that had to do with cleanliness, maintenance, and care! Nikea has undoubtedly many courtyards, that together with the pedestrian alleys, extend over 130 building blocks. Therefore, cleanliness and maintenance of the gardens is a difficult and demanding undertaking, for which just the good will of residents is not enough. The courtyards often need the intervention of the municipal authority due to serious problems, such as the existence of rodents, for which a specialist professional is needed, or the systematic pruning of trees.
However, in several courtyards, it is a handful of local residents that undertake the cleaning, gardening, daily care, and maintenance of these spaces. Talking to the residents in some initial meetings, the maintenance of the courtyards was mentioned as the biggest issue across the board, due to the level of difficulty of the workload for elderly residents, the expenses, the lack of communication with the Municipality, but also the difficulty of overall self-organization of the block for the care of the courtyard. These discussions were a driving force and a trigger for the residents themselves to organize cleaning days, as a preparation for the events that would follow. There were two cleaning days in two different courtyards, where we gathered, weeded, swept, limed, watered, and planted new aromatic plants, while we received advice from an agronomist on the best ways to take care of the gardens. In this way, we prepared the courtyards for the festive events that followed!
The experience and value of collective work in the neighborhood, as one resident said, is priceless! Hopefully this initial initiative will be an inspiration for more people and the efforts will continue.