Chiswick Oasis Gets Major Grant From The Mayor

But extra cash dependent on project reaching funding target in next few weeks

a green wall in a playground to absorb pollution
A Green Wall, to tackle air pollution from busy roads

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The ‘Chiswick Oasis' project, which aims to install a ‘living wall' and landscaping to an under-used site adjacent to the A4, has received a major boost following an allocation of funding by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The funding allocation of £32,000, announced this Thursday (25 October), represents nearly half of the project's fundraising target.

However, the Mayor's funding allocation will only be released if the project is fully funded by 14 December, leaving the project only 7 weeks to raise the remaining £37,000. You can make a contribution to the fund by visiting the project's web site which also has details of the full proposal.

Local resident Andrea Carnevali, who has been spearheading fundraising efforts, said, “This announcement of dedicated funding support from the Mayor of London is a truly exciting development which demonstrates the resonance of this project among the local community. We have been overwhelmed by the support shown by local parents, residents and businesses and by our local MP Ruth Cadbury. Clearly the Mayor has been impressed too. However we remain £37,000 short of our fundraising target so there is still some way to go.”

‘Chiswick Oasis' was launched in September by a group of parents from St. Mary's and William Hogarth primary schools, which are immediately adjacent to the proposed site of the project at the southern end of Duke Road. The schools' grounds run alongside the A4, a major six-lane road which carries up to 100,000 motor vehicles every day.

The project involves installation of a “living wall” and other landscaping features along the A4 boundary wall, using plants which have proven benefits in removing pollutants from the air and improving air quality. Once the landscaping improvements are installed, the proposal is for the site to be made available for fairs, markets and community events, outside of school hours. The full proposal can be seen at the project's website.

Children wear face masks to demonstrate their opposition to breathing polluted air

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “All Londoners should feel that they are part of the regeneration of their neighbourhoods and crowdfunding is a really effective way of giving people a stake in their part of the city. The Mayor's Crowdfund London programme empowers Londoners to bring about positive change in their local area and I would encourage people to support these innovative projects.”

Miss Harte, Headteacher at St Mary's, said “We have been strong supporters of the ‘Chiswick Oasis' from the outset and the entire school community, including our governing body, has been firmly behind it. Many of the children at the school have been learning about air pollution and air quality issues as part of the curriculum, so the project has educational as well as health benefits. We very much hope that the project can become a reality over the coming months. It represents a huge opportunity both for our children and the community as a whole.”

Mr Carnevali added: “It's absolutely crucial that we can raise the donations needed to realise this project and timing is very tight. In the weeks ahead, we will be appealing to the broader community in Chiswick, including the businesses large and small that form part of that community. It's a daunting challenge but we have already achieved more than we thought possible two months ago. Children's health and environmental improvements are too important to ignore, and we have hundreds of local families who are massively behind this project and want to see it succeed.”

Air pollution levels surveys carried out around William Hogarth School and Cavendish Primary, as well as St Mary's found that all three were experiencing high levels of pollution, mainly due to the proximity of busy main roads. In the case of St Mary's approximately 47,300 vehicles per day travel on the core roads within a 200m radius of the school, which the report said was is within the upper quartile for traffic volumes amongst the 50 schools assessed as part of the programme.

October 25, 2018

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