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10 years of community gardening

01 Oct 2019

10 years of community gardening Image

By Sean Car

Local volunteers, teachers, parents and students came together to celebrate the Docklands Community Garden’s 10th birthday on September 24.

In what has become one of Docklands’ most valued and successful community spaces since its establishment in 2009, the garden today attracts more than 100 volunteers from the local area providing space for a range of workshops and meetups.

The celebrations last month saw local students from the local Gowrie Victoria Docklands Children’s Service on Seafarer Lane help volunteers mark the occasion by planting a new lilly pilly tree in a pot, which students will soon be given the chance to decorate.

A framed plaque was also hung in the garden to commemorate “Ten years of education, community and growth.”

Volunteer head gardener Greg Wise, who has led the garden since the beginning, said that as the community in Docklands had grown over the years, so too had the garden’s role within it.

“The garden originally started out, as it should’ve, as a place for people who live in apartments to do what we’re genetically engineered to do … that is to dig holes in the ground, put seeds in them and plant things and watch them grow and, with any luck, eat them afterwards,” he said. “But it came to be obvious to all of us who were the original volunteers that the garden was a lot more than that.”

“Docklands was a relatively cold place and it was difficult to meet people and make friends but we realised fairly early on through its growth that the garden was the ideal catalyst for people to meet people and develop long term lasting relationships.”

“Everyone who comes into the garden has a fundamental interest in one thing and that is gardening and they meet other people here for the exact same reason.”

Mr Wise said that for the past seven years, the garden had invested more time focusing on designing programs that encouraged people to come into the garden, meet people and form relationships.

It’s such programs, like the one it has formed with Gowrie through which it will soon donate a garden bed to students to learn and grow, that demonstrate the positive impact that initiatives like the garden can have on a community.

“We’re really proud of the relationship we have with Gowrie as it allows us to influence a future generation of gardeners which is all close to our hearts and will ensure that the garden will continue going,” Mr Wise said.

 

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