I chose the theme for this months FOFT challenge-My Neighbourhood.
When I first moved into my suburb, the population was around 10,000 and we could hear the cows mooing from our home. The population is now over 50,000. It is an outer suburb, built over the Great Western Basalt Plains, a threatened grassland ecosystem that once covered over 10 % of the state. Less than 1% remains. We have remnants protected here and the landscape is dotted with my favourite trees, the ancient River Red Gums, prominent along the creeklines.
We are still surrounded by farmland but the new estates are quickly expanding. This is not a sleepy outer suburb anymore. There is good and bad associated with that growth. A diverse population from varied socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicities reside here bringing cultural diversity in our shops and restaurants.
I have chosen some of my favourite places, nearly all within walking distance from my home. Some people say these outer suburbs have no soul. But the communities that make up these suburbs do have soul if people on the outside overcome their prejudice.
Young families, refugees, people seeking a better life without fear for their children all live relatively peacefully in my neighbourhood (most of the time).
I only need to walk a few blocks to be able to walk along the creek and be surrounded by the towering gums, the variety of birds, possums and kangaroos. The habitat along the creek is home to one of the most diverse populations of micro-bats in Victoria.
So while it is full of pretty boring streets with housing estates, traffic and homes with too many cars, I have found the soul in my community through the friendships I have made and in the natural beauty that has been retained in the landscape that I seek out.
Tagged: , neighbourhood