Rotary International’s document titled ‘Community Assessment Tools’ describes an assessment as the “foundation of every humanitarian project, small or large, because they provide a framework for identifying solutions to a community’s problems”. Community mapping, one of the assessment tools, can reveal different perspectives about a community. Mapping requires few resources and little time and can be adapted for a variety of participants. In this facilitated activity, individuals or groups typically draw a map of their community, marking certain points of importance and noting how often they visit these places. A successful community mapping exercise will get participants to:
  • Identify how they use community resources and any barriers to accessing them;
  • Compare perceptions of the importance of various community resources; an
  • Generate ideas for community improvement
Our own mapping exercise was designed to involve participants in a discussion about the community places they commonly visit. Some of the results of this exercise are shown in the table below, and this shows the community areas which had 3 or more participant “votes”. The complete table of results from the mapping exercise are located here on the club's website.
A large proportion of the areas that club members regularly visit, includes parks and gardens. For example, one highlight for the Hornsby Council area are the Lisgar Gardens, described as a beautiful hillside garden in the heart of Hornsby, one that is especially well-known for its range of camellias. For Ku-ring-gai, Wahroonga Park is visited frequently and for both council areas, the Bobbin Head National Park was the highest voted location.