When a community pulls together it’s amazing what can be achieved. We’re so impressed with the community behind Healthy Streets North Tottenham who have managed to crowdfund 18 trees for 2 tree-less streets.
It was a crisp sunny February morning when we met up with the residents of two adjoining streets in Tottenham, who’d come together to green their streets. They’d raised funds for 18 new trees, with a superb local campaign, and supported by our crowdfund platform.
When Tottenham resident Lee had tried to sponsor a tree outside his house, via Trees for Streets, he’d found this wasn’t possible due to the presence of underground services, which had shown up during the location survey. Lee was very disappointed.
A new plan
Our Engagement Manager, Lizzie, had a look at Google Street View to see that Lee’s street and those nearby either had few or no trees. So we suggested that he might like to consider getting his neighbours involved in greening the entire street.
HEALTHY STREETS NORTH TOTTENHAM
Lee is part of a community group called Healthy Streets North Tottenham. They’re an active group, who’ve had various successes locally – dealing with traffic issues and anti-social behaviour.
We’d recently launched our crowdfunding platform, so we thought this would be a good opportunity see what it could do. Lee liked the idea, and with his two other co-conspirators Jon and Clare, they decided to go for it. But to our surprise, they didn’t just want to green up one street, but two adjoining streets. We arranged for these to be surveyed to see how many trees could be planted. It turned out 18 locations were viable.
Before and After
Jon set about building his campaign on the Trees for Streets crowdfunding platform. He took some before photographs and mocked-up some pictures of what it would look like with trees. There was also a map of all the planting locations.
The campaign went live at the start of October 2022. Jon, Lee and Clare set about publicising the campaign amongst their neighbours and more widely. Local children helped post letters, Jon used local social media including Twitter and WhatsApp, and the team knocked on doors.
The campaign started to develop a healthy buzz. The target was £4,500. Lee said he thought they’d never raise all of that. (Had that been the case, all would not have been lost – fewer trees would have been planted instead). Slowly but surely the money started to come in.
The organisers were over the moon that people felt able to donate any amount, whatever they could afford. They had donations ranging from £3.50 and all the way up to funding entire trees at £250. Local estate agents, Hunters, who were working in the street at the time, kindly donated enough for an entire tree.
The campaign ran for eight weeks and managed to hit its full target, which is quite some achievement.
With the campaign successfully closed off, anticipation started to build amongst the neighbours of Shelbourne Road and Rosebery Avenue. One sunny day in February the contractor came and started building the tree pits to create spaces where these community trees could be planted, and the following week, to the delight of the neighbours, the trees themselves started to go in.
We were overjoyed at the what this group of neighbours has achieved. We went down to meet them to celebrate the planting of their trees.
Raising the funds and being involved every step along the way has given this community a real sense of ownership of their streets, of their neighbourhood, and has underlined the difference that we can all make to the places where we live.
green your street?
We’re being approached all the time by neighbours groups who, like the Healthy Streets North Tottenham team, want to green up their entire street. Could you crowdfund for a greener street? For more information or drop us a line at Team@treesforstreets.org