They’re good for our health, good for the soul, the community and the environment, and late last month, Canberra’s community gardens received a $40,000 boost in government funding.
Nine projects will share the cash from round four of the ACT Government’s Community Garden Grants Program that makes funds available to community organisations and owners’ corporations to kick-start their own projects and for projects in existing community gardens.
Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said the gardens are overwhelmingly positive for community.
“We’ve got stacks of space in Canberra we can use for community gardens, and these grants are really about providing that little bit of initial capital.
“It only takes $5,000-$6,000 to get the things you need to get started, and that unleashes a whole lot of community energy.”
He said the changing dynamics of higher-density, inner-city life in Canberra permeates through to how we garden.
“With more and more people living in apartment complexes, townhouses and the like, we’re seeing the nature of community gardens change … using balconies, using rooftops, those sorts of things.
“The simple process of connecting with the growing of food is, I think, important educationally, but also there’s something very good for the soul about growing food.
“The food miles on the food we consume is also very significant, so it’s a small action in the battle against climate change as well,” Minister Rattenbury said.
The nine successful projects include: a new community garden at the Wybelena Grove townhouse complex in Cook; extension to water reticulation system at the Canberra Organics Growers Society garden in Yarralumla; a new community garden at the Hudson Square Apartments in Harrison ; replacement of the fences and gate at the COGS Community Garden in Mitchell; enhancement of soil to support the development of the Lyneham Commons Food Forest in Lyneham; expansion of the Canberra City Farm Community Garden in Fyshwick; a new community garden at the Evoque Apartments in Braddon; renovation of the Nutrition Australia kitchen garden to support a healthy cooking program in Chifley; and a new community garden at the Elan Apartments in Lyneham.