Close to the Philips Stadium, you will find the neighbourhood's meeting place: Buurttuin Philipsdorp. A place where residents come together and where various green activities are organised for and by the residents of Philipsdorp.
Alongside community centre 't Bellefort was a playground with a patch of grass that was rarely used. For years, the Philipsdorp residents had had the idea of getting more use out of that patch. Corona delayed the plans, but many discussions in the neighbourhood showed that there was a lot of support for a garden. There was a lack of meeting places for residents. Eventually, three enthusiastic residents started planning a thriving community garden for the neighbourhood in early 2021. Less than a year later, the bare green playground has been transformed into a cosy green meeting place with several seating areas. The garden includes a picnic table, pergola, fruit trees, berry bushes, insect plants, lots of flowers and about three vegetable garden boxes where herbs in particular are grown. The playground has remained natural and integrated into the neighbourhood garden. The garden still has enough grass left for picnic blankets or a (party) tent for events.
What makes this neighbourhood garden so successful is its openness. There is no fence or hedge surrounding the garden. It is accessible to anyone at any time of the day. You can enter the grounds just like that. No lock, no restrictions. The garden really invites you. They are not afraid of anything being demolished because there is a lot of social control.
With a large amount of meeting places, there is plenty of space to sit, work and meet. For instance, the municipality has installed new bench. This has made it an important meeting place for the neighbourhood. On a sunny day, over 25 people from the neighbourhood sit and enjoy the garden. It is used to play, read or do yoga.
Another success of the garden is the way of working around the garden. There are no set work days, you can do what you can. It is low-threshold, residents are allowed to plant or exchange plants themselves. The maintenance of the community garden is done with a group of about 12 community volunteers. They received a grant from The Orange Fund to set up and maintain the garden. The only thing they ran into during the process were the rules of the building zone. This prevented them from planting trees, so the trees were planted in big pots. The most important thing is support of the neighbourhood. The founders of the community garden therefore would like to advice that other people don't wait for funding, just start! Get informed by others and inform the municipality earlier so they get involved faster!
Photo's: Philipsdorp neighbourhood garden