Scene 7: Spreading the Word

21 November 2013


We are in the process of planning an interactive community meeting to discuss design options for Perseverance Park.  During the beginning stages of planning, the most important aspect is to ensure that the community is aware of the meeting in order to increase participation in creating the design.  We wanted to speak directly to the community and invite them to share their input and thoughts on what they would like to see in the park.

act 2 scene 7


Maitland Garden Village and Maitland City Hall


Cast of Characters:

MGV Park Team: Lucine and Katherine

Community Members: Ronell Trout and Naiela Baatjies



Today, we (Katherine and Lucine) went into MGV while Tyler and Zack stayed at the lodge to work on producing the Park Catalogue.  Upon arrival in MGV, the first thing we noticed was that the lawn in Perseverance Park had been trimmed and that children were playing on the slide and on the lawn. It was a great site to see! We approached the woman sitting on the slide, watching her children play. We told her about the community meeting to be held on Tuesday and explained what we would be doing, having a fun and interactive evening so that her opinions on park elements can be heard.  She seemed interested and said she would attend.  We made our way down Beatty Ave, talking with different people outside their homes.  A little after 11 AM, Ronell called and told us she was in the park. We headed back to the park to meet up with Ronell and Naiela. Although Ronell had to quickly head back to work, Naiela was enthusiastic in helping us spread the word about the community meeting.

We headed out once again to talk to the community, now accompanied by Naiela and her 3 year old son, Adam.  Adam lead us through the streets pushing himself on his small bike, always turning around every couple meters to make sure we were still behind him. Throughout our walk through the village, we learned a lot of Naiela and her enthusiasm for the community.  Although currently residing in Maitland, Naiela spent the majority of her life in Garden Village, raised in a family with 13 siblings.  She spent many of her childhood days going from school, to Muslim school, and then straight home.  She did not know many people in Garden Village until she recently got involved with the community through the Green Light Project.  She was very helpful in knowing exactly who to talk to on each street to make sure the word of our meeting spread throughout the whole community.

After walking through all the streets of Garden Village, we piled into Naiela’s car with her and Adam, heading towards Maitland City Hall.  On the way, we picked up Naiela’s 17 year old daughter, Ayeesha who had just arrived home from school after finishing a high school exam. She rode with us to the Maitland City Hall to collect various lawn games for the Friday Fun Day park event tomorrow.  Ayeesha showed an interest in helping out with the event tomorrow and we hope to see her there!



Today was a great opportunity to talk with someone who has spent most of her life in MGV.  Naiela gave us great insight on being raised in Garden Village, including some of the struggles her family faced.  She was very welcoming in inviting us to meet two of her sisters, her mother, and her children.

It was interesting to walk around the community today and see that Naiela knew everyone.  The types of communities that we come from at home are not nearly as close-knit communities such as MGV.