Garden support grows

Councillor Chris Cornish tabled a motion to develop a policy allowing residents to transform a portion of their local park into an edible garden (Eastern Reporter March 24).

It also included a separate policy allowing residents to grow �appropriate� food on their street verge.

Cr Cornish said the idea was to empower residents by allowing them to grow and use fresh produce while transforming under utilised areas.

�It�s about building communities, it�s happening all over the world,� he said.

�It�s about people sharing food with others and interacting with each other, with fresh, wholesome free food available.�

Cr Barry McKenna questioned how the City could call itself the �Garden City� when it didn�t have a policy for community gardens.

He compared the idea to Victory Gardens created by residents in America during World War II.

�The concept has been around for years and I think with the rise in Men�s Sheds it would be good for men who don�t want to do wood or metal work,� he said.

Cr Stephanie Coates raised concern about pesticides used on the gardens, especially in local parks, and pollution.

The policies would include safety issues relating to visibility when gardens are planted on street verges, watering and maintenance requirements, community consultation to indicate support from nearby residents, prevention of anti-social behaviour or theft and liability issues.

Council also voted to advertise expressions of interest in creating a traditional community garden.