Local, Independant and Effective

Community Gardens grow the bonds in Indi communities

Posted March 26, 2014


Hansard copy of Sustainable Gardens Community Manual Constituent Statement, March 26

I would like to support the comments of the member for Maranoa. It is totally the same in Indi, so good luck to you in your work on this topic.

In early February I was delighted to launch the Sustainable Gardens Community Manual at Toolangi Castella community garden on the southern boundary of the entire electorate.

The manual grew out of a bushfire community gardens project and it was established to assist bushfire affected communities in their recovery from the 2009 fires.

It was funded through the Helen MacPherson Smith trust with practical assistance from Sustainable Gardens Australia.

The new community gardens manual will assist other rural and regional communities to create their own community gardens.

This gardening project has proven itself as an initiative that brings communities together across Victoria. It has demonstrated the importance of assisting rural communities to heal after the impact of the February 2009 fires. It demonstrates how communities benefit greatly when individuals, groups, local government and philanthropy work together.

In Indi two other community gardens were established in bushfire affected communities, in the beautiful Yackandandah and Beechworth communities. The planning, designing and building of these gardens became a way of building hope and connections as these communities progressed towards recovery.

Neighbours worked with neighbours and new friendships were built. People forged new connections and over time as the new gardens began to take shape the community started to recover and learn new skills. The community garden manual is a 90-page how-to guide.

It covers topics such as planning and design, building the infrastructure and all you need to know about managing risks, budget and governance—in short, everything you need to know about setting up and sustaining a community garden.

I wish to congratulate all those involved in designing, building and planning in the Toolangi and Castella Community Garden and all those who contributed their learning experiences into this magnificent resource manual.

I would especially like to congratulate the Toolangi and Castella Community Garden Working Group and the coordinator, Tabitha Barclay; the Beechworth Community Garden Working Group and their facilitator, Donna Page; and the Yackandandah Community Garden Working Group and facilitator, Leanne Benson.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the support from the Helen MacPherson Smith Trust and Sustainable Gardens Australia, especially the project officer, Elaine Shallue, from Sustainable Gardening Australia.

To download this free manual please visit the web pages of Sustainable Gardens Australia, the Helen MacPherson Smith Trust website and also the cathymcgowan.com.au website.

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