Banyule Community Gardens Network

Feb 25, 2024 | News

Banyule City Council has taken the initiative to explore setting up a Community Gardens Network. This has been welcomed by community gardens across Banyule.

The Community Gardens Network met on February 2 for the first time on Zoom. Sustainable Macleod was represented by Peter Gillies, Nina Riella, Paul Gale-Baker and myself. Other attendees were from St. John’s Riverside Garden, Watsonia Library and Bellfield Community Garden. Buna in West Heidelberg was not represented at this first meeting but will be taking part. Council officers chaired the meeting.

Representatives of the gardens agreed that each garden is unique and having a deeper knowledge of what each offers will assist all in attracting people suited to their set-up. It will also help them refer people to other gardens more suited to their needs. There is a continuum of types of gardens, from exclusively communally gardened ones (such as ours) to exclusively plot-based ones, and others that offer both communal gardening and individual plot gardening.

Banyule City Council has some funds to support the network. This may include funding for signage (always an expensive item), and for speakers who would present at a particular community garden on behalf of the whole network and Banyule City Council. Banyule City Council will also assist with capacity building workshops and issues such as risk and insurance.

Most exciting is that the Banyule Community Gardens Network will be integral in supporting Banyule’s Urban Food Strategy, which aims to ensure that everyone in Banyule has access to nutritious food, no matter their circumstances.

The meeting was very positive and we look forward to deeper connections and closer co-operation with other Banyule community gardens. Our thanks to Banyule City Council for their initiative.

Written by Robin Gale-Baker