The Water Gardens were the 2022 winners of the GOLD International Green Apple Award for our We Care project! The Green Apple Awards are run by The Green Organisation, an independent, international, non-political, non-profit environmental group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practices around the world.
Our We Care project consisted of many existing initiatives and ones we introduced this year.
Nature & Biodiversity
The Water Gardens team jointly with our landscaping team continually aim to create a better environment and improve the habitat for the fish and wildlife that inhabit the grounds and ponds in the Shopping Centre. The ponds are home to many animals including a variety of fish species and families of ducks.
Wild Water Gardens Family Activity Trail
A partnership was created between the Water Gardens Shopping Centre and Harlow Art Trust to help promote and raise awareness of Harlow Sculpture Heritage. As some of the sculptures are located within the centre, as part of the partnership, we created a trail map for children– Wild Water Gardens Sculpture Trail – which was popular and included an exploration around the gardens to find different plants, animals, and sculptures such as the “Boar” “Bird” & “Seven Mosaics” plus curiosities about the biodiversity that can be found within the gardens.
Little Free Libraries
Funded by the landlord, 2 bespoke “little libraries” were installed in the Water Gardens, one for Children and the other for adults. This is a free book-sharing box, where anyone can take a book and/or share a book and has helped to develop a sense of community at The Water Gardens, whilst also providing residents with access to free educational resources.
Outside of supporting the local community, we have also been engaging with the council to support and coordinate donations for the residents of Ukraine. In partnership with Harlow Council, the centre team has been supporting the Ukraine Donation Point, delivering empty boxes daily to use to pack items, and carefully loading 100s of boxes on vans bound for the White Eagle Club in London and then on to a hub in Poland.
Christmas at WG
The annual Christmas light Switch on Event at the Water Gardens is always popular, and in 2021 even more so (following the pandemic) with 1,000s from the local community turning up to celebrate. Last year we invited Key Workers from the local community who worked tirelessly through the pandemic to turn on the lights which included an Asda shop worker, a postman, a care worker, a local policeman, a paramedic, and a fireman. The event also included lots of local groups from the community, amongst whom were a local Hip Hop Pop Dance group and a local school for children with hearing difficulties who signed to the music.
We are so proud of the team here at The Water Gardens for all of their effort and hard work with these initiatives!