Project news
A Place to Be-Come Seraing, Belgium
Modifier 28 July 2021
by "A place to be-come" project team

New ambassadors for green spaces sustainable management

group photo
For one year now, workers hired by the C.P.A.S under Art.60 contract have been maintaining 3 parks in the center of Seraing: Parc des Marêts, Parc Morchamps and Parc Bernard Serin. They have been trained by the non-profit organization Natagora in green space differentiated management. This is a way to start a change in the management of the City's parks, with the objective of maintaining them in a more respectful way for the environment and biodiversity, to improve quality of soil, but also to use less invasive techniques and work without pesticides. Zoom in their experience.

During this year, Natagora asbl trained workers to different techniques of differentiated management, but also methods that leave more room for biodiversity: "the life of soil", "bio-indicator plants", "rejuvenation pruning", "natural remedies", "wild cooking"... The physical work, but also theoretical part was highly appreciated by the workers, as Benjamin explains "It is the whole part of learning plants nomenclature that I preferred during this training.

Over the months, workers also carried out various landscaping projects in the parks. These are intended to preserve wildlife and bring back biodiversity to green spaces. They have had a positive impact on the use of the parks, but also on the perception of the neighborhood in general. "In the parks it's more lively. There are more people, more things. There are things to see now, whereas before there wasn't necessarily anything to walk around," explains Quentin.




They noticed a positive impact of their work: "What particularly struck me," says Pascal, "was the sowing. We planted flowers seeds. Some ladies told us 'it's been years since I've seen blueberries', and some of them were a bit nostalgic. » It's a pleasure!




Among applications of the differentiated management we find, for example, late mowing. It consists in limiting number of mowing to one annual passage, at the end of the season, allowing plants to grow and to attract numerous foraging insects which participate in the renewal of the species, but also for all granivorous animal species. It didn't take long for workers to become ambassadors of these methods, which they now apply at home and to their entourage : "I started with my family. I explained to them why what we do is better for parks and why it's not good to mow everything [...] For example, in my garden I left a late mowing area. The area where children play is mowed, the rest I leave in late mowing as a refuge for insects, birds, nature, soil life. And I also advise my neighbors to do this. They don't immediately understand what differentiated management is, but with time it comes", explains Anwar. 




This training is above all "a positive human experience", underlined by several workers. "We managed to form a good team with a good atmosphere, a good group spirit. We were very lucky to have great trainers". It has given rise to vocations, as for Pascal, who would like to "go into herbal medicine to learn more", but it has also enabled others, like Anwar, to feel more confident: « I have improved my French language. I was terrible before I started. I really felt a change and I speak much better. »

Through this experience, workers now have an extra string to their bow to move on in the job market. They have all passed their skills validation exams. An experience that they all welcome, as Quentin points out: « The positive point to remember is that people want to learn. And a place like this allows people who are curious to learn these things, to discover and really to wake up. » We wish them professional success !

In the continuity of the project, municipal agents of the City will be trained to continue what has been put in place by Natagora and workers. We know that with patience and "with a little willpower we can change things".