Sustainable Is Sensible

Lettuce Get Grubby

Lennox Head has many dedicated and passionate community members. These are the perfect core ingredients for a thriving community garden. To develop a community garden for Lennox we need your assistance to find the right site as well as your cooperation to work as a team.

Ballina Council has a Community Gardens Policy (available online at www.ballina.nsw.gov.au/cp_content/resources/C15CommunityGardens.pdf ) and within this policy there are site selection criteria that must be adhered to if Lennox Head would like to have a community garden on Council owned or managed land. The selection criteria Council use to determine whether a site is acceptable for a community garden includes the following:

1. Location – is the site appropriate land such as parks, open spaces and community centres

2. Safety – no major health and safety concerns and have good passive surveillance

3. Accessibility – adequate provision for disabled and vehicular access

4. Sunlight – ideally receive at least 5-6 hours sunlight per day

5. Size – large enough to accommodate garden beds, composting systems, rainwater tank/s and seating

6. Water – provision of water

7. Soil contamination – assessment of soil contamination will need to be undertaken to determine whether the soil is suitable for growing produce

8. Fencing – may require fencing to protect from theft and/or vandalism

We also need to be mindful in Lennox of sites too close to the sea. Salt from the sea can adversely impact plants so a site further away from the sea would increase the diversity of plants that could be grown in the community garden.

While community gardens are fundamentally about plants and providing access to fresh locally grown produce, they are also about people and communities. Research has shown that people—especially children—who garden are more connected with where their food comes from. Community gardens also benefit the community by providing people with a sense of purpose, (particularly the unemployed, disabled and retirees) belonging, social interaction and educational benefits through the growing process and providing knowledge of healthy eating and cooking.

Community gardens can also integrate principles of organic gardening, composting, waste conservation, energy efficiency and recycling. These principles can be an education tool for the whole community including school children.

If you are interested in assisting to develop a community garden for Lennox Head and in doing so be part of a cooperative team, please register your interest by emailing James Brideson (jamesb@ballina.nsw.gov.au) of Ballina Council.

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