Samford Commons on the move

Samford Commons on the move

Just imagine what Samford Commons will be in 2020!

Recently a group of educators and others gathered to be treated to a site tour of Samford Commons to begin imagining any and all of the possibilities of Samford Commons in 2020.

Assembling to be seated in a semi circle inside the infamous Red Brick Building, the journey began.

Howard Nielsen, as General Manager and Director of Samford Commons, gave a brief outline of Samford Commons before he and Lotty led the group off on a guided tour of the site. The following “Samford Commons 2020” also incorporates the 2020 vision first presented at a public meeting in May.

First up was a look at the glasshouses. Very soon a competition will be announced for innovative ideas for the use of these glasshouses. People will be encouraged to think outside the square, and provide concepts that incorporate the principles of sustainability, and community sharing/use/benefits.

Perhaps the glasshouses will be a butterfly house with restaurant; perhaps a dog friendly cafe where you can read books with your best mate alongside; perhaps a studio for acting and dancing; or a small amphitheatre/movie centre; maybe even a worm farm…the list goes on. These are a few of the ideas put forward at the Samford Show 2015 and prior.

Walking down the grass alleyway, the group got their first view of the Millen Farm as Samford Common’s first entity up and running. The newly allocated 8,000 m2 of ground ploughed, and complete with cover crop planted. Onlookers were encouraged to imagine lettuces harvested and taken to market, or sold to local business and held in the Samford Commons store for sale.

Standing under the Tree of Knowledge, visitors learned of the planned off-campus classrooms for schools.

One area is allocated for Samford Valley Schools. These schools can co-work on designing and offering up learning opportunities. Students can bring their parents into the site and their classrooms to look and see.

They imagined Samford Commons 2020… students as part of a school curriculum being out in farm gardens, sharing their learning, co-creating their curriculum. Imagine those students being kitted out with web-cams. Running commentaries from the web-cams relaying live information back into the Media room. In turn the Media room relaying the information live to other students in classrooms around the world.

The Futures Room in 2020 would be accommodating a group of thirty students. These students would be interacting and communicating directly to overseas students, having been given a challenging question to answer.

Some of these students from outlying areas or from interstate are staying in the onsite accommodation.

Secondary school students have the Eco-Corridor as part of their study curriculum.

Drones would be flying around as part of a University trial, collecting data and imagery for Millen Farm on the state of the health of their crops, or filming and listening in for other Samford Commons entities with other purposes in mind. Footage is further used for photography and education purposes.

Lunch could be had at a cafe near the Sustainability Store. The big red double doors are its trade mark. The store is doing a roaring trade. Many containers are returned for re-use /up-cycle or re-cycle. All the store’s stock needing cold storage, is stored in the massive Cold Room complex, which also doubles as the Seed Storage Bank. In another section, mushrooms are being grown, with yet another used for the food storage of the onsite restaurant.

Imagine…Samford Commons 2020 …a little further up the road Creative Samford have a range of studios, covering a wide and diverse range of arts. Creative Samford regularly holds a range of exhibitions, some complete with a range of wine, food and other drinks.

Right now, in 2015, Queensland Opera have already visited Samford Commons and evaluated the site for community opera, which can operate anywhere. Unbeknown to many, Queensland Opera have a program where some teachers are also opera singers, who work with school students.

Imagine…the Moreton Bay Regional Council Samford Works Depot is now an amphitheatre!

Imagine…the sheds currently used by National Parks and Wildlife now as an Arts precinct. Market stalls have the opportunity of full cover and facilities. Visitors come from far and wide to enjoy the markets, plus tour the grounds and the surrounding trails.

The pizza oven on site is always a popular site.

The accommodation plus camping area is in the near vicinity.

Samford Power as the renewable energy centre has installed solar panels around the site. Interactive installation programs are provided to give people the opportunity to learn about renewable energy and smart grids.

An overview of energy use around the site and amounts of power being generated at each building is able to be viewed on independent dashboards around the site. Samford Power is participating in the wholesale sale of excess power.

The electric bus is ferrying local students and visitors to and from the site.

In the Co-Working Space, around fifty local businesses and a dozen community businesses are working in a collective and collaborative way. They have use of a meeting room and state of the art technology. This Co-Working Space is operating 24/7.

In yet another building, Samford Commons in 2020 has a core group planning the next quarterly festival, where opera singing is being included as part of the festival.   The co-ordinator of the regional Arts Trail has established a list of seventy eight places to visit! Another group is further planning the Eco-Trails.

Samford Commons in 2020 is a beehive of innovation and proving sustainability is the way to go, along with the continued backing and encouragement of the Moreton Bay Regional Council. Local philanthropists along with various top businesses in Australia and overseas are invested into this ever evolving site.

Bright yellow bikes are being ridden up and down the 600m trail into Samford Village. The bikes are provided free of charge. Bike parking stations are dotted around the village. Less mobile visitors ride their electric scooters in total safety up from the Village.

The overpass allows access from Samford Commons across to the Avenue of Honour and down to the Sport Grounds.

Back to current day 2015…visitors heard…

  • Microsoft has offered to fit out Co-Lab Spaces with both hardware and software, subject to Samford Commons providing evidence of larger scale backing.
  • Entry to the site will be via the Tennis Courts or from an as yet unmarked road from Samford Village.
  • There is a proposed Rugby League field down on the flat ground near the Archery.
  • At the present time, Samford Commons receives on average, one idea per week from the community, on how the site may be used.
  • This particular week, three ideas were submitted.
  • Any ideas on the use of Samford Commons, must fit into the Samford Commons philosophy.
  • Samford Commons is committed to Future Making, rather than Future Waiting.

The group returned to the Red Brick Building, looking very enthused, and full of ideas ready to write, or already written on the bright yellow pads supplied.

This was their chance to contribute to…imagine…Samford Commons in 2020.

What can you imagine…..?

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