Community Gardens Policy and Guidelines

Formal submissions are welcome until 5pm Monday 14 March 2011. A submission form is available from the Library section of this forum.

Blue Mountains City Council has developed a draft Community Gardens Policy and draft Guidelines for Council's role in the establishment of community gardens on Council owned and/or managed lands.

The draft Policy and Guidelines have been designed to ensure that Council-managed land is used and maintained appropriately and for the benefit of the community. These documents clarify Council's role in supporting community groups who want to create a community garden and identify the range of considerations community groups need to consider to proceed with their project.


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    Do you think it is appropriate or not, to provide access to community land in the Blue Mountains for community gardens? Please indicate your reasons.

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    Using community land for the cultivation of community gardens can provide benefits to both the community involved, as well as the wider community. It is important that community gardens are managed efficiently and effectively with an understanding of the particular needs of a Blue Mountains setting with the surrounding National Park.

    For example, community gardens can influence the nutrition of families which participate actively and of those who attend education and training events about composting and gardening skills, delivered for the interest and enjoyment of people of all ages and abilities - in fact the whole community. The experience of participating in a community garden can diffuse any misconceptions about food sources.

    Active participants in a community garden enjoy the benefit of access to fresh food and gardening activities that promote good health and fitness, as well as the social benefits. Community gardens in the Australian context usually emphasise collective or shared activities. This compares to the allotment style of gardens more commonly seen in Europe and the UK.

    by bmccadmin 12 Jan 2011, 11:46 AM 1150 views
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    What are the basic requirements for a community garden?

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    Every community garden will vary, depending upon the site and the community who work in it. The site will have a micro-climate that needs to be understood and managed. The very basic considerations for the site include the slope, solar access and water. The gardeners will have choices about the way they want to garden and when. The formation and growth of the community group is as important as the planting. Like every living thing, community gardens and the groups that work them, evolve over time.

    by bmccadmin 12 Jan 2011, 11:44 AM 684 views
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    The establishment of a community garden has a range of considerations; what do you consider important?

    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    The draft Application Form is included in the Guidelines as an Appendix. When making an application to establish a community garden, the information required includes a detailed description of the site. Understanding the site well, including its advantages and limitations, will increase the likely success of a community garden project. An application that has a sound understanding of the site and the impact of the intended use, will be more likely to be approved.

    Other important considerations relate to the group that will manage the garden. Has the group formalised their aims and objectives? Do they know how decisions will be made and resolve any conflicts? How will new members be recruited? Will fund-raising be required and if so, how? It may be helpful to identify the skills available and those required by the proposed community garden group.

    by bmccadmin 12 Jan 2011, 12:09 PM 820 views