The seed of an idea
Earlier this year, residents of Portland Road in Croydon embarked on an ambitious project to make their street greener.
Portland Road is very busy with heavy traffic, and like many busy streets, it suffers from the usual issues such as noise and pollution.
Inspired by the trees that had been planted outside the South Norwood Leisure Centre in 2018, they started thinking about planting a few more trees outside some local businesses. One of the volunteers posed as a tree where they thought they should be planted, and the idea quickly gained popularity!
local groups lead the way
Two local community groups, who have big plans to regenerate their area of South Norwood in Croydon, were involved in getting this project off the ground – People for Portland Road and WeLoveSE25.
The initial plan was to plant 5-6 trees along Portland Road between Oakley Road and Dundee Road. But when Croydon Council Tree and Woodlands Officer, Richard Edwards surveyed the road, he saw the potential to plant 16 trees along the stretch between Belmont Road and Harrington Road.
The total amount of money needed to plant all 16 trees was £13,600 – definitely ambitious! Chris, who is Treasurer for the People for Portland Road community group, took on the role of campaign manager to drive the crowdfunding forward.
Building a crowdfunding campaign
Chris worked with our team to build the dedicated crowdfunding page on our platform.
We’ve made it easy for local community-minded people to set up their crowdfunders, and there’s lots of advice on how to run a successful campaign in our Crowdfunding Guide.
One of the local residents provided some “before and after” pictures, to show how Portland Road looks now compared with what the community hope it will be like when the trees are planted.
To get things started, both People for Portland Road and WeLoveSE25 contributed seed funding and the local branch of the Rotary Club wrote about it on their blog, to help promote the campaign. Trees for Streets was also able to contribute some money, from funds provided by a generous private donor.
This left £7,600 still to raise. Time to spread the word!
gaining local support
The next stage of the fundraising campaign was to gather local support. Letters were sent to homes in the streets adjoining Portland Road, as well as businesses based on the road.
Initially, some local shop owners and other businesses with premises along the road had some concerns about the exact locations of the trees and access to their buildings. Richard was able to answer their questions and discuss issues such as security, visibility and safety too.
We used social media to help the groups promote the campaign, and to keep the interest and momentum going. This included regular updates on progress and key fundraising milestones.
The campaign ran for just two months and succeeded in raising enough money for 14 new street trees!
Huge thanks to everyone involved
At the final count, there were an amazing 144 individual backers. This includes some local businesses: BlueJay Café, Nix Hair & Beauty, Crystal Nails 4 U, Treasures Gift Shop, TyreTrax, Fishport Fishmongers, South Norwood Glazing, and London Plumbing & Heating Merchant.
At Trees for Streets, we are delighted to have been part of such an exciting and memorable campaign. The entire community worked together to achieve something brilliant, leaving a lasting legacy.
We can’t wait to see the impact that these 14 new trees make!
I think it’s fantastic the way the residents have headed this project and have come together with local businesses to raise the money for the tree planting.
It just shows how people are keen to improve their environment and they recognise how trees can do this.
Richard Edwards, Tree and Woodlands Officer at Croydon Council
want to green your neighbourhood?
You can make a difference to the world, starting on your doorstep.
If you’d like to run a crowdfunding campaign to get more street trees planted where you live, click the yellow button below to find out how to get started.
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