When the community comes together, great things happen
Calling all green thumbs in Docklands!
Did you know there is a community garden at your doorstep?
A space where everyone is welcome to come together, connect and grow produce for the community is located right next to The District.
Funded by the City of Melbourne’s Social Innovation Partnership program and with the support of The District, the community garden has been brought back to life by the Pop-up Neighbourhood House – an initiative of The Centre: Connecting Community in North and West Melbourne. The Pop-up Neighbourhood House is focused on working with the local community to build understanding, social engagement and resilience, and support the growth of a vibrant and inclusive Docklands.
Community development officer at Pop-up Neighbourhood House Jason Butcher saw an opportunity to get involved in the community garden and was inspired to activate the space.
“Gardening is an activity that’s universal, it crosses barriers of age, culture and language,” Jason said.
“There is a wealth of research into the positive benefits that shared community garden spaces can have for their local communities, ranging from increased physical and mental wellbeing, healthy eating habits, fostering greater understanding and connection between people and promoting the growth of social supports and resilience.”
To kick start the clean-up of the community garden, The District hosted a working bee event and sausage sizzle in March sponsored by Woolworths at Market Lane. The working bee was an official relaunch of the community garden, opening the space up to the local community and volunteers. The event has seen a number of volunteers sign up, and a partnership with the Docklands branch of the Melbourne Community Toy Library was formed.
Jason believes the garden is bringing the Docklands community together through shared experiences and ownership of the space they all call home. So far, the Docklands branch of the Melbourne Community Toy Library has held pop-up play group sessions there, and Jason is keen to see other local groups and organisations involved including Docklands Primary School and the local childcare centres, with an opportunity for children to learn about nature hands-on.
“The District has welcomed the partnership with the Pop-up Neighbourhood House and supportive of their ideas for the garden and we are very keen to continue this partnership into the future,” Jade Smith, The District’s events and marketing manager, said.
If you would like to get involved in the community garden, the Pop-up Neighbourhood House runs sessions every Thursday from 1pm to 3pm and every Sunday from 11am to 1pm. There is always something to be done, from watering and composting the raised beds to tidying, weeding and replanting the walk-through garden. If you are not able to commit to attending every session, join in the many locals who take care of the garden in their own time. If you would like to speak with Jason, visit him at the Pop-up Neighbourhood House located in Wharf St at The District or email Jason directly at [email protected] •