Urban Guerrilla Beautification

Societal Issues Targeted: 

  • Teaching people how to come together to change the world we live in for the better
  • Instilling to the community the importance of nature as something deeply linked to our health and happiness

Guerilla 6

All Upcoming International Events

Contact us today for help setting one up where you live

Nature and the condition of our surroundings are deeply linked to our health and feeling of well-being, which is something easily forgotten in the hectic day-to-day life we live rushing around a dull, grey city; so let’s come together to sneak a bit of nature into a neglected and boring corner of the city and bring that connection back into people’s daily lives through Guerilla Urban Beautification!

Dirty, run down, and neglected spaces are linked to a wide range of societal problems so we are going to scout out a few and then come together as a group to turn them into beautiful urban gardens, spreading natural happiness into people’s lives. This event works best with one main spot for the group to decorate; perhaps a dirty bridge we could clean and hang flowers from, and other smaller spots that covert teams who want a bit more excitement can sneak to at different times to decorate…like a little garden on top of a bus stop!

 

BENEFITS:

A study in 2009 indicated that community cleanliness contributes to revitalizing neighborhoods, as well as residents’ beliefs and behavior regarding conservation issues, sense of community, and volunteerism.  In surveys, the public have consistently identified local environmental factors as being one of the most important factors in their physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Setting up:

  • Grab some friends
  • Post in our event system and Facebook group including an idea of the date and location.
  • Upload an article on our website to tell everyone about your experience of the event, write opinions of people who came to the activity, and put up suggestions for others who are making the same event soon – along with all your best photos and videos of the beautiful gardens you created!


Suggested Equipment:

  • Gardening equipment
  • Cleaning materials
  • Seeds, plants, soil, and grass
  • Camera


After the Event:

  • Attendees always want to go to a park or bar and socialize afterwards, so it’s best to have this planned before the event
  • Post your photos on Focallocal’s photo album
  • Share your day with others by writing a post about your event. Simply click the ‘post’ button on the main menu and include some of the best photos and videos.
  • Plan your next Guerrilla Community Gardening Project, or any other collective event or project on our site.


Tips

  • Save and print a map of the city so you can mark all the potential spots to garden.
  • Seeds are cheap and great but require patience. It’s nice to see something there straight away when you finish so we’d suggest planting some fully grown plants.
  • If you’re focusing on one big project rather than on lots of little gardens, it’s smart to have a back-up spot planned in case you get moved on when you are just starting.
  • Lots of passers-by ask why we are doing what we are doing. I tell them it’s “positive collective social action, aiming to increase connection between people and make everyone feel like they live in a happier, safer place.” If they don’t want to join in that day, I give them our website address (www.focallocal.org) so they can join in next time.


Legal Stuff (how it worked out for us)

You aren’t likely to get into any trouble for trying to make your community look nicer (unless you try to turn Big Ben into a tower hanging gardens) and I’d be very surprised if anything occurred worse than being asked to move on. It is also possible to get council approval to turn a guerrilla garden into a legally recognized community garden, like Leaf Street in Hulme, Manchester.

One great suggestion is to set up this operation in your city during the hours when everyone else is asleep to avoid hassle from the police and to surprise people dragging their heels into work early the next morning.

 

References:

  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46220169_The_health_benefits_of_urban_green_spaces_A_review_of_the_evidence
  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233103561_Community_Gardening_and_Community_Development_Individual_Social_and_Community_Benefits_of_a_Community_Conservation_Program
  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301217915_Understanding_and_encouraging_volunteerism_and_community_involvement
  • https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/226561/pb14015-valuing-local-environment.pdf
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