Street Champion Bazz.
Project: Ovingham Greening Group
Suburb: Ovingham, South Australia
Barry, or ‘Bazz’ as he’s more commonly known, is a Street Champion who found himself wanting to beautify his neighbourhood after he retired. He found he could no longer walk past an ugly, neglected and overgrown strip of land along the railway line in his street and not do something about it.
He wrote to council asking if he could create a bee and butterfly garden in its place. Council was very supportive and even arranged clearing the site and installing an irrigation system.
While discussions were taking place with Council, Bazz letterboxed the surrounding streets twice, inviting residents to a working bee.
The first working bee was in April 2021 and “Ovingham Greening” was born.
Since then, they have held monthly gatherings/working bees, planted hundreds of trees, shrubs and groundcovers, created paths, installed a native bee hotel, a gabion seat, bird boxes and microbat boxes. They have a facebook group and produce a monthly newsletter.
They held a street party to celebrate their first anniversary, and this will be an annual event.
They have created a beautiful oasis in their suburb.
They have provided crucial habitat for bees, birds and butterflies.
And importantly, they have created a community.
"It has given me purpose."
Bazz, what’s your best piece of advice for anyone embarking on an ‘In Our Street’ project?
“Consult people. Involve people. Engage with people.
Be inclusive. There is a place, and a purpose and role for all.
Create partnerships, work with Council, connect with like minded groups.”
What has this project meant to you?
“It has given me purpose.
I have met so many people and formed so many new friendships.
It has helped my mental and physical health.”