The Hearts, Spades and Muddy Shoes initiative saw young families in North Ormesby working together to create a much-needed play area.
The enterprising team – with support and T-shirts from the One Planet Middlesbrough: Creating Sustainable Communities project – cleared the site and used a variety of recycled materials to turn a small disused area into ‘Kildale Corner’.
Help was also received from North Ormesby Community Hub and from a local Accent advocate, who helped the group access funding from both Accent and Thirteen through their ‘Better Communities’ scheme.
Aimed at young people and families, the site features seaside-themed games tables and sensory boards, with old tyres recycled into mini planters for families to grow fruit and vegetables.
Further planned works at Kildale Corner including the planting of trees to create new wildlife habitats and improve the view for residents.
One Planet Middlesbrough Community Volunteer Cheryl Dixon first spotted the potential of Kildale Corner last year.
She said: “There was a small fenced area that was the site of persistent fly-tipping, which could have been so much better used.
“We gathered a small group of volunteers who cleared the rubbish and moved the fence line so we could access the space.
“We’ve been adding to it ever since, with more and more people getting involved.
“It’s great to see neighbours meet and to have a space for our children to play safely and close to home.”
Hearts, Spades and Muddy Shoes have also tackled replanting municipal planters outside the Community Hub and on Kings Road and James Street, and clearing elderly residents’ gardens so they can be used for growing.
Projects in the pipeline for later this year include new hanging baskets for the shopping precinct and developments at the Pav site on Esk Street.
One Planet Middlesbrough Community Enabler Catherine Howell added: “It’s so good to see such exciting environmental projects happening in our town.
“Cheryl and the group work tirelessly and it’s really starting to pay off.
“North Ormesby’s getting brighter by the day!”
Find out more about the North Ormesby projects on their Facebook page ‘NorthOrmesby HealthandWellbeing’ or on the One Planet Middlesbrough page www.facebook.com/OnePlanetMiddlesbrough
If Hearts, Spades and Muddy Shoes have inspired you to start a similar project in your own area, contact the One Planet Middlesbrough team at Middlesbrough Environment City on 01642 243183 or email email@example.com for help, advice and support.