I want to share some exciting news!
Today the WA Government announced a new Community Gardens Grants Program. $400,000 is available over four years to assist with the establishment or development of community gardens in WA.
I took a welcome break from my office this afternoon to join Local Government and Community Services Minister Tony Simpson, the Mayor and CEO from the City of Stirling, Department of Local Government and Communities staff, and local community gardeners at the always charming Joondanna Community Garden for the official announcement.
In addition to funding for individual gardens, grants can also go towards activities or initiatives that build the capacity of the WA community garden sector (think networking events, bus tours, training, and so on – like the support provided during the Growing Communities WA project).
Full details and application forms can be found on the Department of Local Government and Communities’ website. The closing date for applications for the 2014 round of funding is 5pm Thursday 27 February 2014.
Social Fabric provides specialist advice and support services to new and established community gardens and their partners. If you’d like to know more check out the Community Gardens page or get in touch with me.
Today’s launch event for the new grants program, at Joondanna Community Garden
Last week I had the chance to visit the Joondanna Community Food Garden (corner of Stoneham and Wade Streets in Joondanna). Through my role as Coordinator of Growing Communities WA (2008 – 2010), I provided advice and support to the garden during its feasibility and start-up stages, so it was great to finally have a chance to visit to see how the community’s plans have borne fruit (sorry it’s hard to resist a gardening pun!).
The garden is nestled in the middle of a suburban neighbourhood in Perth, surrounded by houses and blocks of units. It has some lovely established native trees onsite that shade a gathering area that can be used for events, as well as allotment gardens and fruit and olive trees.
Here are some snaps from my visit:
A striking community art piece next to clear garden signage makes a good first impression
Allotment garden beds that are leased to community members
Garden art adds personality to the garden
A type of garden edging I haven’t seen before – paving slabs
Social activities and working bees are an important part of sustaining the gardening community and maintaining the garden
Giving some produce away for free is a useful strategy for minimising theft in a garden that’s open to the public at all times
A worm shed onsite = happy vegetables!
Gardeners enjoying a pleasant Saturday afternoon
For more info about community gardens in WA and to find a garden near you visit Community Gardens WA.
For info about the specialist advice and support services that are available to help you at whatever stage you are up to with a community garden – feasibility, start-up, visioning and design, construction and development, ongoing management or partnering with a garden – check out Community Gardens.