Image from Victoria Harbour.

Community Gardens Spreading Around Australia:

Community gardens are increasing around the country as more people want to grow their own food.

Several cities have embraced the benefits of community gardens. For instance, the Docklands Community Garden in Melbourne was initially established on a trial basis. Several workers from different professions, ranging from architects, landscape architects, eco-designers, permaculturalists and local residents, contributed to the project, making it a success. The garden has lemon and lime trees, a rosemary grove, vegetable patches, plus barrels of herbs and other edibles.

“It’s a great place for people to literally get their hands dirty and become green thumbs in a convivial community garden. Huge potential exists to use this innovative urban space for community activities like dinners, farmer’s markets, events, garage sales and kids parties, so it truly becomes a hub for the local community and an activated green space,” the organisers said.

In Perth, what used to be a derelict urban space is turning into a community garden. The City of Vincent designed the garden to become “the ideal place for local residents to get together and grow organic produce like vegetables, herbs and fruit”. It is expected to give the area a new lease of life.

“People of all ages can learn about gardening, work with plants, learn about healthy soil or simply enjoy the atmosphere. This project aims to inspire people about the way we use our urban landscape, encouraging more families and communities to come together and celebrate growing the food we eat.”

According to a new report, “urban policymakers and sustainable food activists have identified urban agriculture as an important strategy for confronting a host of urban problems, including food insecurity, health disparities, access to urban green space and community economic revitalisation”.

“The endurance of community gardens has meant that most urban agricultural research has focused on community gardens, particularly their contribution to nutrition, health and community development,” the report said.

Just recently, the Mandurah Junction community gardens in Western Australia opened its doors to residents. The report said the LandCorp development will be managed by non-profit group Intework. This “enables local people with disabilities to take part in community activities”.

Mandurah MLA David Templeman said they want to encourage the community to embrace these gardens. Interwork regional manager Jane Berggy told Mandurah Mail that “working in the gardens had enabled participants to contribute to the community”.

Meanwhile, Calvary Hospital’s new green space is “making ecotherapy a vital part of their healing process”. The first stage of the project has a “corridor of native vegetation with secluded therapeutic spaces”.

“Since its inception, the project has created a relaxing and productive space for patients at Calvary Hospital’s mental health ward. It offers a place to unwind, read a book, socialise and work towards recovery via occupational therapy and the wholesome act of taking part in maintaining the garden.”

To find out more about current community gardens, head on to 202020 Vision.

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