Launched on 21 June 2022, the Revive Sedgefield community projects came about after Sedgefield Ratepayers and Residents Association's committee had initiated a public meeting inviting a group of Revive Knysna representatives to give a talk in our town hall.
They had been operating for over a year in Knysna and their efforts had made a palpable difference there. The presentation provided guidelines as to how to go about creating a similiar project in Sedgefield.
The open interactive discussion that followed, enabled attendees to realise there was a lot they could do themselves to clean up and revive the town's rundown and neglected public areas.
It was an idea whose time had come! In no time at all, a number of enthusiastic volunteers got together and using Knysna as their base model, set to work, determined to improve the lack-lustre appearance of our town.
"Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is a process and working together is success" Henry Ford
The very first project was the library garden which now, over a year later, has matured and is really stunning! The surrounds of the Municipal offices across the road and then small town gardens fronting the N2 highway followed, enhancing some of the existing mosaic sculptures already in place.
The committee meets on a regular basis to discuss areas they have noticed need sprucing up and reviving. Residents sometimes give them suggestions but mostly ideas come from the committee.
They have taken it upon themselves to clean up and repaint the 5 tortoise pillars throughout the town and to clear pathways overgrown with weeds. It has become very noticeable to everyone how much better the town is looking for having its public areas looked after.
Revive Sedgefield has two Whatsapp groups in place. The ACTION Group is for people who are interested in keeping up to date with what and where the team/s are working. It is also used to put messages out if help is needed for something specific, like when a bakkie would help for plant collection for instance.
The second is a STARTERPACK Group consisting of ACTIVE members who are advised of the specifics of what is needed and when, for a project being worked on. Both groups are updated with a weekly post for a "call-out" of volunteers for a specific week and given a short video or photos of work done during the week.
The team use what they have and if they need more of a certain plant, they put out a request on their Whatsapp groups and social media. They have a drop-off point at the Sedgefield Police Station where items are kept safe until they are collected. Chairlady, Linda Evans, says it is amazing how many plants have been donated by Sedgefield residents.
Chris Hardnick is maintenance supervisor of public areas in Sedgefield. He has proven to be extremely helpful. If asked, he readily collects the garden refuse, often on the same day, when the team have completed a project. He also readily responds when grass needs to be cut in a particular area.
Our Ward 2 councilor, Cleone Vanston is a keen supporter of Revive Sedgefield and will always assist when various permissions are needed to work in specific areas.
The ethos of the team is their work is" for locals, by locals" and gardens areas once completed need maintenance. This will be an ongoing issue as the team create more and more projects. Adele Van Zyl heads up the maintenance team and ensures all the different areas are kept spic and span. However, this is becoming too much for one person to handle so an "Adopt an Area" project has been recently been launched.
Businesses have been asked to collaborate with the team by taking on an area of their choice to maintain and ensure it will be kept up to scratch. In return they get to share one of the Revive Sedgefield community project boards and can display their logo and contact details on it at their adopted site.
Volunteers have also been been asked to take responsibility for a particular area and together with friends and/or family to keep an eye on it and to do whatever maintenance is needed. This will go a long way in helping the permanent Revive Sedgefield members to move forward with new projects continuing to beautify the area without having to worry too much about the existing ones.
Although Revive Sedgefield is predominantly female, they do have a sprinkling of Gents when needed. The hubbies are fabulous as well when sheer masculine strength is a necessity. Many of the ladies are of retirement age so kudos to them for their perseverance and the hard physical labour they put in to achieve what they have done so far. The cheerful camaraderie and positive attitude with which they go about their work is inspiring.
During November 2023, a Youtube video was created for Revive Sedgefield by local producers, Lekka Lokal Tv. Extras (their supporters) were called for, to be in an early morning, final part of the shoot (soon to be available). The Team is putting themselves out there - they are determined to be an ongoing "good news story". Their resounding cry,
Together we CAN make a difference!
As the Revive Sedgefield Team continue to brighten up tired areas, new ideas keep surfacing, the latest one being, Rockie the rock snake. On 16 November 2023, "Rockie" in the form of colourfully painted rocks, has begun his journey starting near the first bench down from the circle along Kingfisher Drive .
Everyone is invited to participate! The plan is to let locals, visitors and holiday makers help him slither his colourful way to the slipway where the mosaic Lovebug Sedgefield 1 Beetle marks the spot! It is a fun opportunity to let one's creative juices flow. Enjoy yourselves by contributing a painted rock (or as many as you like) and have a memorial part in helping Rockie reach his intended destination.
At the inaugural "Celebrate Sedgefield" Awards Evening on the 10 November 2023 initiated by the SR&RA (Sedgefield Ratepayers and Residents Association Committee) the team and Linda Evans, received a well deserved award in the category of "Personal Service" acknowledging their huge contribution to improving the town's appearance.
The pledge of the Revive Sedgefield Community Projects is:
" We will endeavour to continue reviving, restoring and beautifying Sedgefield for the benefit of all who live, visit and pass through our town."
You go, Girls, You are all phenomenal!
Revive Knysna is a non-profit organization that works to create positive, lasting change in their local community.
Their mission is to empower people to take active ownership of their own future and create a better environment for the people of Knysna.
They strive to make Knysna an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest in by restoring heritage buildings, cleaning polluted areas, creating gardens and green spaces, preserving natural resources, clearing alien species and collaborating with various NPOs and NGOs in Knysna and their local municipality.