Fish Creek's Community Garden
The Great Southern Rail Trail Committee of MGMT saw an opportunity for the Fish Creek Community Garden to become a social outlet and education opportunity for community members disengaged from the pre-existing sporting and arts activities on offer.
The committee envisioned the garden becoming a place for participants to make connections with other members of the community and reduce isolation whilst also promoting positive health outcomes via exercise, fresh air, and the ability to grow healthy nutritious food at low cost.
To fully realise the garden’s social potential, the Community Garden Group felt that it needed the support of a facilitator, with experience in generating enthusiasm and inclusion for community activities, to turn the community garden into a buzzing social centre.
To support the redevelopment of the community garden, the Great Southern Rail Trail Committee of MGMT received a $5,000 grant from the Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program, funded by the Gardiner Foundation.
Following the employment of a facilitator, regular fortnightly workshops in the community took place. The program was slow to take off but after six months the number of participants increased and they turned up more regularly, as word of mouth about the community garden workshops spread.
Workshops covered everything from general gardening maintenance and planting to wicking garden beds and composting, to cooking and preserving the produce. Before the program began, the community garden had a sparse arrangement of three raised garden beds, but now has over six raised garden beds, composting bays, an orchard and is also home to two new sculptures.
However, it wasn't just the garden seeing a real difference since the commencement of the program. Participants are really benefiting from the social experience of gardening, forming friendships that endure outside of the program.
The 15th round of the Gardiner Foundation Working in Dairy Communities grants will be opening on the 1st of Feburary - check out our website for more details.