THE development of a community garden in Bertram is a step closer to fruition after the project received a $14,500 grant from the State Government.
Garden co-ordinator Peter Olds said the garden, earmarked for a location in Belgravia Estate, would encourage greater community involvement and co-|operation in the area.
“My hope is we can empower ourselves to work together, to pitch in and realise a vision to support sustainable and community building activities within Bertram and the greater Kwinana area,” he said.
“I wish to bring people together with a common cause and passion.”
Mr Olds said there were plans to include a fruit orchard within the garden and grow native edible vegetables.
“We aim to create a sustainable space where people of all ages can enjoy a break, get to know their neighbours, learn new skills and create a vibrant and supportive environment,” he said.
He said the garden group had 183 members and was aiming to finish the project by the end of next year.
Planning for the project started about 18 months ago.
Mr Olds thanked the State Government community grants scheme, Bertram Residents Association, City of Kwinana, Imagine Kwinana Incorporated and Kwinana Community Sharing for their support.
“This grant gives us greater independence, helps us achieve our goal sooner and allows us to buy quality equipment to give us the greatest chance of success,” he said.
“It will also reduce some of the challenges that would otherwise be faced to raise funds for vital infrastructure.”
Mr Olds said the money would be used to buy re-used jarrah sleepers to build raised garden beds, tools and other suitable equipment to get established for winter and spring 2017.
It would also be used for a shelter and trailer to build composting and worm farms.
“This will allow us to run workshops and encourage recycling, reuse of kitchen scraps and building your own soil suitable for vegetable and plant growing,” he said.
He said negotiations were ongoing to secure the land with the City of Kwinana, including public liability, security, funding and material and physical support.
Mr Olds was set to give a presentation about the project at an entrepreneurial competition as part of a further $8000 grant application in Sydney yesterday after the Courier went to press.
The group is also involved in another project to improve verges and gardens by planting native flora and encouraging waterwise designs. It recently received $7500 from Planet Ark and Toyota Australia and $2000 from Torrens University’s alumni grant scheme.