Inspiring action by sharing a clever idea

The purpose of IdeaSpies is to inspire action by sharing clever ideas and this story is a perfect example of how this can happen.

Our son told me about rain gardens being installed by the City of Sydney Council. These self-watering gardens are often installed when new traffic public works improvements are made to the City’s streets. They are typically at street corners in the space where cars cannot park, and they replace what was once asphalt road pavement.

I thought this was a clever idea so posted it on IdeaSpies- Raingardens 

Then a while later early on a Monday morning I saw Council workmen installing islands in our street. I was really pleased- I thought they were installing rain gardens. However I was very disappointed to be told that they weren’t installing rain gardens. They were instead planning to pour concrete in the islands. We live in a heritage street and I was very disappointed that it would look like we had sewerage outlets in our street! I was told by the workmen that the work was planned for Friday of that week.

Unfortunately I had no time to deal with the issue with the Council as I was attending a 3 day course to help develop IdeaSpies. I did however visit my next door neighbour that night, show her the idea on IdeaSpies, and say how disappointed I was.

When I returned home from the 3rd day of the course on the Wednesday evening I was was very pleasantly surprised to find a stack of signed petition forms from neighbours on our entrance table. My next door neighbour had drawn up a petition and taken it to others in the street. The petition asked our Council to give us rain gardens per the idea on IdeaSpies.

Based on this support from neighbours I called our Council then, when I couldn’t get through, I called the local newspaper and a reporter was very interested in the story. Simultaneously our Council changed plans. A street meeting was arranged and we all agreed on the flowers to be planted in the islands, instead of the concrete. The idea on IdeaSpies had inspired my neighbour to take positive action- our street is now looking good!

What are you doing to inspire action that makes something, somewhere or someone better by sharing an idea you see? Idea Spies are observant people who care about the world and make it better by sharing clever ideas happening around them.

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