Since 1957, the Triangle has opened its gates to thousands of young people, offering free adventure play and a safe space to grow and learn. Only a mile from Westminster, the Triangle Adventure Playground acts as an inner-city haven with greenery and open space for children to play, learn and develop.
Triangle Adventure Playground was awarded £950 from the Our Space Award grant scheme to enhance the look and biodiversity of the Adventure Playground with living green walls. Both adult and children volunteers from the local community came together to help create and plant the walls.
The project created four unique types of green walls, with different variations of plants and plant containers. So far, the coloured metal pots and flowers hanging onto a reclaimed trellis appear to be the firm favourite. Parents, children and passers-by love stopping and taking a look at the variety of bright colours.
One of the green walls is made up from vertical felt planting pockets, containing a variety of herbs and lettuce. Here the children can learn how to identify the various herbs just by smell – one regular playground goer, Emma, frequently helps tend to the herbs and can identify all ten by smell. The children enjoyed the vertical planting pockets so much that some of them made and designed their own from landscape fabric, and then planted Pansies and Sweet William flowers inside to grow alongside the herbs.
The project uses solar pump systems in order to water the green wall plants. Juliet Hobday, project coordinator, recalls her amusement at seeing the children so amazed by the water pumps:
The kids were so confused about the solar powered water pumps and thought that it was raining.
Since the planting of the Green Walls, many of the adult volunteers have said they have been inspired to garden more at home; even if they only have a small balcony, as the vertical gardens utilise space so efficiently, as well as providing food and brightening the home.
Juliet also went on to say how she feels the green walls have helped to create a sense of pride among the children:
I definitely think they feel ownership when they’re planting. They have their names labelled on the plants too which encourages them to water their own plants.
The project used Twitter, Facebook and posters to engage with the community about the project and to encourage the local community to attend the planting event. The planting day was very busy with twenty-one children and three adult volunteers attending. This is the highest attendance the Nature Club has ever had for a themed summer session!
The children who participated with the planting were able to take a plant home with them, and have taken such an interest in nurturing their plant that they regularly update the Environmental Playworkers on how their plants are doing and ask for advice. This indicates clear proof of the green wall garden having a positive influence on the children through spreading the knowledge of how to care for plants and nature, as well as giving the children something to feel responsible for and proud of.