Auchinleck Community Development Initiative (ACDI) was founded to improve the area and create jobs. They began by taking over derelict sites and turning them into small, volunteer-led community gardens, growing and selling plants.
Over time this has grown into a commercial gardening operation generating permanent employment opportunities and has created the Knowe Garden Centre. This is an oasis of greenery in the town, growing and selling plants, holding horticultural workshops and training events, teaching plant science to local schools, and providing a public garden area for the local community. There is a sensory area, poison garden, wildlife garden, and a bog garden with a resident tortoise, ‘Hector the Protector,’ and a school children volunteering scheme – all ideas adapted from the community’s visits!
The Knowe Garden Centre and Knowe Garden Services have created six new permanent jobs, but have also given the community confidence that they can lead positive change. People of all ages have been able to get involved, enjoying time outdoors, growing food and flowers, and developing social connections.
The Knowe Garden Centre aims to “be a place people want to spend time in to inspire their imagination… a haven for wildlife as well as being educational and productive.” Have you been along yet to get inspired?