According to our observations, the municipality of Nałęczów (Lubelskie Voivodeship) is dominated by commercial and tourist services, limiting local population’s access to gardens and historic buildings. We see a need for an integration of the municipality’s actions, development of collaboration between the citizens and for more grassroots events that would engage all the members of the local community. In 2019 we have co-organized the “Nałęczów Gardens Open Days” – for one weekend all the private gardens with historic homes have been open to the public. We have paired it with workshops, exhibits, concerts and tastings of local cuisine. A survey showed that the community members enjoyed the event, and the majority concluded that it allowed them to discover new ways of engaging with the community and would be interested in repeating the experience.
We are currently in the process of organizing three editions of the “Nałęczów Gardens Open Days 2021 Festival” and designing them as regular, recurring events for our municipality, with a goal of integrating the local community around common, pro-environmental issues. We will host four networking meetings in the “citzens café” format, during which we will engage public institutions, civic organizations, hotels and B&Bs owners, as well as the very citizens in a planning conversation, collaboration and local initiatives. We will conduct workshops on using social media for organizing around important issues and we will conduct the “Nałęczów, the City of Gardens” campaign that will include educational walks designed to identify spaces for Civic Gardens – places for neighborly integration. We will also conduct three similar, grassroots initiatives in currently unoccupied spaces. The festival will take place in the Spring, Summer and Fall and will take a form of open events across 25 gardens of Nałęczów for everyone living within the municipality.