"Changing methods and tools on these two Halage worksites is also one way to promote ecological methods in landscape development in Seine-Saint-Denis. I'll work hard to recommend them and to help them expand in the territory."
The nonprofit Halage, created in 1994, develops workforce development projects by the development and maintenance of open spaces, using ecological ways and means. Initially active only in Île-Saint-Denis, the nonprofit has spread over five districts through ten workforce development projects. It employs some thirty full-time employees and 78 back-to-work employees, who can thus acquire diploma training. Approved by the French Ministry of Agriculture, Halage offers three sessions of two CAPA (Landscape Work and Upkeep of Rural Spaces). The entire full-time team is eager to remobilize the employees or trainees, restore their self-confidence and help them solve a number of problems which hamper their progress (housing, illiteracy, addiction, justice, finance, etc.). Since 2010, the organization has opened an outreach and shared garden designed to offer isolated persons a place for exchanges and sharing. It contributes to the development of social bonds in the Goutte d'Or neighborhood, in the heart of the 18th district of Paris.
Two back-to-work projects in Seine-Saint-Denis
Many years ago, Halage inaugurated two back-to-work projects in the territory of Seine-Saint-Denis. Each features a team of eight landscape workers, employed under back-to-work contracts in the nonprofit for an average of 12 months and guided by the local social partners (PLIE, Pôle Emploi, local missions, integration forums, etc.). The Halage full-time team, consisting in particular of a counselor in workforce development, identifies job obstacles, provides counseling and guidance toward outside structures, the definition and/or validation of every professional project. The objective: return to a lasting job or the acquisition of skills training.
Embellishing the banks of the Seine
The Plaine Commune banks of the Seine worksite has been in operation since 2005. It participates in the development and upkeep of many severely damaged sections (11 km linear), in the communes of Île-Saint-Denis and Epinay-sur-Seine. The operations conducted on the worksite consists in particular in mowing the approaches of the towpath and access lanes, weeding the paths, bush clearance, maintaining the garden plots, collecting dead leaves, removing jumbled masses, creating ecological niches, making plantations, etc.
Embellishing the open spaces
The second worksite of Seine-Saint-Denis was created in 2009 as part of the State Recovery Plan. The team works on several territories: parks at Epinay-sur-Seine, a rail embankment at Stains, residential open spaces at Île-Saint-Denis. The operations associated with the creation and upkeep of open spaces are similar to those of the banks of the Seine worksite, and include waste collection and disposal, the creation of theme gardens and slope support systems, maintenance of a 500 meter rail embankment at Stains using adapted management techniques.
New, more ecological and modern tools
To satisfy its sponsors, Halage is obliged to acquire efficient, top quality tools, particularly electrical, also enabling it to groom its employees in the use of modern tools very widely used by companies and municipalities.Electrical equipment generating less noise avoids disturbing the animal species present on the sites which contribute to pollinization, to gardening, and to the biodiversity (bees, birds, etc.).This powerfully assists the improvement of the environmental quality of the sites where the nonprofit operates.
More ecological tools for better trained professionals
The Veolia Foundation, alongside the General Council, the urban community and the Regional Council, is assisting Halage to purchase its new electrical tool, which it needs to professionalize its activities.