After our inaugural Winter Market in December of 2018, I quickly determined that we could expand upon what started out as a modest endeavor. The goal I had in mind was to put forth a yearly event centered around inspiring a feeling of “wonder.” That vision has blossomed into a seasonal series of markets. The “green space” fund is intended to foster the development of spaces that remind us of the wonder in the natural world, to bring awareness about the critical role that pollinators play in our survival as a species, and to promote sustainable land management practices.
What are green spaces and why in the world are they so important?
Green spaces include, but are not limited to: community woodlands, parks, street trees, pollinator gardens, wetlands, urban parks and gardens, and community food forests.
The numerous benefits of these green spaces are extensively researched. They are economic, societal, aesthetic, and ecological in nature.
Economically speaking, green spaces increase property values and attract development, reduce the cost of municipal services, and increase tourism potential.
Societally speaking, green spaces increase quality of life by strengthening community cohesion and providing community gathering spaces; they improve mental and physical health by mitigating air pollution and providing beautiful places to walk, play, sing, and just be.
Ecologically speaking, green spaces encourage biodiversity, are an effective tool for carbon sequestration and pollution reduction, help to reduce the urban heat island effect by providing shade and cooling the air through the process of evapotranspiration, and improve the quality of our air and water.
Green spaces are inherently places of beauty! What is more beautiful than the flights of the monarch, honey bee, or hummingbird, the first blooms of a growing season, or enjoying a picnic with the ones you love?
The Locals and the Wunder Markets have partnered in bringing the Green Space Initiative to life. When you donate money at the Wunder Markets, it goes into a fund that is building toward an making Conway a greener place to live. Specifically, we are looking at developing more pollinator gardens throughout Conway, and we are looking at building an open-faced cathedral surrounded by community gardens. That cathedral could then be used for the Wunder Markets or other local gatherings.