Community memorial garde to honour settlers and market gardeners in Cockburn

A GARDEN where residents can grow their own vegetables is just one of the ideas Spearwood resident Ray Woodcock is hoping will come to fruition as part of a community memorial garden honouring early settlers and market gardeners in the area.

Mr Woodcock, who has lived in Cockburn for about 55 years and has been trying to get the project up with the council since 2012, said he was hoping to gather support for the project, which he believed would recognise the hardships experienced by the market gardeners.

“I have lived and worked in Spearwood since 1963 and in that time working and living in Spearwood it began to dawn on me the hardships the early market gardeners endured, inconveniences they had to put up with,” he said.

“Like attending to market gardens in all sorts of weather and at the same time living in corrugated iron sheds, dirt floor, with machinery.”

Working with other residents and Deputy Mayor Lee-Anne Smith, Mr Woodcock said the garden, hopefully to be placed at the old Manning Estate, would recognise the contribution of those from Spearwood, Bibra Lake, Munster, South Coogee, Wattleup and possibly Jandakot but would be inclusive to all residents.

“The community memorial garden should be made available to local residents of City of Cockburn,” he said.

“But it should not be just a garden with just rose beds, hedges, paths, grassed areas with a shade house(s).”

Councillor Smith said the idea was fantastic and it was now time to reach out to the wider community to explore the demand.

City parks and environment manager Anton Lees said the City was supportive of community gardens but they needed to be driven by community members to ensure community needs were clearly identified and key deliverables established for a sustainable outcome.

Mayor Logan Howlett said he asked the City’s planning and development division to provide a report at the September meeting that identified a ‘working’ area of land that could be purchased to enable the extensive market garden, flower garden, Orchard and vineyard history of Cockburn to be showcased.

Residents interested in the project can email ray|@leonardwoodcock.com.