Raised £7,115 from 87 supporters
“The sound of birdsong, the smell of blossom, the bursts of colourful wildflowers on the roadside – we have never appreciated the outdoors more than we have done over the past few months”.
Zinnia Swanzy – Project lead
During the early months of the pandemic our busy world came to a stop. Silence crept in amongst us and out of this stillness came spring. The gentle sounds of nature filled a void left by our industry and in the company of plentiful hours of sunshine, people felt a renewed connection with our natural world.
Nature proved to be of great solace during this time. Our benefit from it will contribute to a much wider argument happening on a global stage about what needs to be done to protect the environment. Technology is perpetuating this great chasm between people and nature, a gap which needs to be closed to ensure better stewardship in the future.
A consensus found amongst environmental campaigners is that, ‘if children don’t grow up with nature around them, then they won’t care for it’. A lot of knowledge has been lost over recent generations regarding the natural world and there’s a theme appearing on Crowdfunder UK, for those trying to incorporate it into education.
Mawnan Primary School on the south coast of Cornwall nestled near the Helford passage, has invested some time into this hypothesis. The UK’s lockdown ended on 23rd June and on the 24th a crowdfunding campaign for the ‘Mawnan School Nature Garden’ began.
The campaign led by school mum and Landscape Architect Zinnia Swanzy, raised £6,110 from 87 supporters to build a new garden. In what are challenging and unsettling times, the campaign drew inspiration from a quote by Audrey Hepburn, “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
“We want to create a garden at our school where our children, and our wider village community, can feel the same inspiration, hope and joy. It will be an oasis where they can immerse themselves in the wonders of nature and enjoy the rewarding experience of gardening”.
“The coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on our children and our community. This garden will not only bring us back together, but also help us look to the future, giving us all a vital space to grow”.
Cornwall Council is making great strides towards facilitating positive change in the county. In January 2019 the Council declared a climate emergency and it is projects like the Mawnan School Nature Garden who have their utmost support. This crowdfunding campaign received a total of £1,300 from the Council’s Grow Nature Seed Fund and Community Chest. The former being the initial environmental fund which has recently been followed by four others, under the banner of Crowdfund Cornwall Climate Emergency.
Conventional community support structures have had to adapt very quickly during the pandemic. With limited options to meet with people directly, online support networks have flourished, proving instrumental to our social experiences in these last few months. Crowdfunding has allowed the school to share its story and connect with the audiences necessary to get this project funded.
With 45 comments on the crowdfunding page paying tribute to their ambition, it’s clear to see that this campaign has resonated with many people.
“Wonderful gift to these children, connecting them with gardens and gardening and the power of growing plants. Really lovely to see a community coming together in this way. Go Mawnan! “