If your group would like to propose a site for a new community garden in the City if Darebin, the process has been significantly simplified as many suitable sites have been identified and mapped! This is part of a larger initiative, the Urban Food Production Strategy.
As a bit of history behind this project, the idea for streamlining the negotiation process between the public and council for proposed community garden sites was developed by Angelo Eliades, and proposal for this project was put forward to council jointly with colleague Mike Jorgensen (as members of the Transition Darebin group). A project was initiated and the Darebin City Council completed mapping public land suitable for community gardens, the outcome was publicly announced in the March Sustainable Food Leaders Forum on March 20th, 2013.
Below is a description of the outcome of the forum:
Community Food Gardens Mapping Proposal
Transition Darebin approached Darebin City Council to develop a map of potential community food gardens and other food production sites in Darebin. In response, Council resolved to consult with Transition Darebin as well as internal officers who manage council buildings and other assets to identify:
- Potential food garden sites and
- Key considerations for assessing the suitability of a site.
Libby Hynes, Manager Environment and Natural Resources, tabled a map of existing community gardens as well as potential future sites. Participants were asked to:
- Review the map and add any key potential sites they felt were missing and,
- Discuss and document the most important considerations for identifying potential food / community garden sites.
The exercise identified a number of additional potential sites:
- Within or adjacent to parks and sports grounds (especially where co-located with community group meeting places such as halls/clubhouses)
- Council land / building sites
- Other public land such as VicTrack land (particularly along train stations), schools, Melbourne Water land and public housing estates
As with all proposed uses for public land, a process is required to establish need, priorities, conflicting uses, effects on amenity and resourcing before Council can commit to any of these sites for a community or food garden.
As a result of the Community Food Garden mapping exercise, Council has endorsed the recommendation that an assessment and consultation process be developed for considering community food garden locations as part of the Urban Food Production Strategy development.
For more information please contact Lee Tozzi on Lee.Tozzi@darebin.vic.gov.au
Here is the downloadable map in Adobe PDF format with the various community food gardens sites marked: Darebin Food Gardens Mapping Project
The map identifies the locations of existing community gardens and potential new sites in several categories – community centres, schools, privately owned/managed areas, parks & reserves.
Lee Tozzi from council is developing an Urban Food Production Strategy of which the mapping project is only the first step, next input will be sought to develop the assessment and consultation process for considering community food garden locations.
It is hoped that this project and the larger strategy that it is a part of will pave the way for the creation of more food gardens in the local community!
– Angelo Eliades, Deep Green Permaculture