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Community Gardens Toolkit - Natopia:


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Community Gardens Toolkit - Natopia:

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Community Gardens Toolkit - Natopia:

  1. 1. COMMUNITY GARDEN TOOLKIT Liam Connell, Virginie Tassin, Lenka VodstrčilThe three authors of this document are claiming full moral rights and copyright on the conceptand the content of this document. Copyright is also claimed on the drawings created, whichexcludes all digital pictures.The University of Melbourne HREC project number: 0932394
  2. 2. CONTENTS Page1. NATOPIA: WHO, WHAT, WHY 1 Why set up a community garden? Who is this guide for? Why is Natopia important?2. GETTING STARTED 6 Location, location, location! How long can the space be used for a garden?3. GARDEN FUNCTION, PURPOSE, AND DESIGN 8 Designing your garden without reinventing the wheel Involving the community Education Partnerships, networks, coordination, cooperation4. PLANNING A COMMUNITY GARDEN 14 Identifying stakeholders Find an expert! Legal considerations5. FUNDING THE PROJECT 19 Where to find support? Cost/benefit analysis6. THE FUTURE OF NATOPIA 21 What’s next? Keen to contribute? And so…7. RESOURCES AND FURTHER READING 23 Checklist Internet resources
  3. 3. 1. NATOPIA: WHO, WHAT, WHYNatopia: it began as a simple desire to re-introduce nature into highly-developed urbanplace (or ‘topos’ in Latin). The three authors of this guide are PhD students from verydifferent backgrounds: one is a scientist, another is a lawyer, and the third is an historian.Yet the three of us were drawn by the idea of how a city as vast and urban as Melbournecould find within it the space for human beings to engage more fully with nature.If we had one guiding principle it would be that we want to help provide the knowledgeto bring people in dense urban areas like Melbourne back into contact with nature – andhopefully help bring individuals back into contact with each other along the way. A greatway for people to do this is to set up their own local community garden.Natopia is about making partnerships, and helping people help each other. We havefound that there are a lot of individuals in Melbourne who, like us, see why communitygardens are interesting and useful projects. Often there are people with a high level oftechnical know-how who could assist a family or group of neighbours set up their owngarden, but finding each other is difficult. Natopia aims to create links betweenindividuals on all levels to teach and learn from each other about sustainability. We knowthat this can be is a complex and difficult task on the whole. Natopia is the starting pointin a process that first, explains why community garden projects are interesting and useful,and second, how these links can be formed. We think that a great way to achieve bothoutcomes is for individuals to set up their own community garden projects. 1
  4. 4. Why set up a community garden?There are so many benefits! Starting a community garden is a wonderful way to meetpeople in your neighbourhood, share gardening tips and recipes, and grow fresh foodthat you can use at home.Additionally, community gardens: • can be a truly environmentally sound way to grow the food we all need to be healthy • require the most minimal transport energy requirements, from the earth to your plate • will likely be a critical source of food production in the future, especially with the ever-increasing global population • can be a powerful educational resource for people to teach and learn from each other about nutrition, environmental sustainability, and cultural diversity • provide an option to produce food that contains no herbicides or chemical additives, requires no packaging, and is often less water-intensive • provide the space to “defrag” and reconnect in a natural environment, with significant stress-relieving and mental health benefits • help strengthen a feeling of community, and give people an even greater “stake” in their sense of home.You may have noticed a number of these sprouting up around Melbourne – people arealready getting in on the idea! 2
  5. 5. Okay, I love the idea, so what is this guide?This guide has been designed as a first-step “toolkit” for families, neighbours, and friendsto set up their own local community garden. As this is just the first step of a longerproject that seeks to make this information available in an accessible form, we havefocused here almost exclusively on the challenges involved in developing communitygardens in public-owned spaces. That is, areas that are the responsibility of councils andgovernments, rather than private bodies. There is a completely different set of challengesinvolved in setting up community garden projects on privately-owned space.There are a still lot of tricky questions for people who want to start their own communitygardens, wherever it might be located. For starters: • How do we find a space to use? • What’s the best sort of garden where I live? • How do I find or convince other people in our street to get involved?In researching this guide we have had to deal with many of the same questions. Wefound that answers are out there, once you start looking. This guide captures the essenceof many conversations we have had with Melbournians with high levels of professionalexpertise who agree that community gardens are a great idea, and potentially veryimportant for Melbourne’s future development.There are issues that this toolkit can’t equip you for, especially things that are specific toeach suburb or even street in Melbourne. But you can think of it as a first port of call,and where answers are site-specific, we’ll try to point you in the right direction to find theanswers you are looking for. 3
  6. 6. Who is this guide for?Everyone!We designed this guide as the first step for interested individuals, neighbours and familiesto get together to create their own community garden. It does not assume any priorknowledge, and is meant to be accessible enough that anyone can pick it up and getuseful information from it. We have also constructed this toolkit with councils in mind,in that we are helping them help you find the information you need. We hope thatcouncils themselves might be aware of the information contained here, and could helpcreate the links needed for community garden projects to be implemented in their area. Why is Natopia important?There are many obvious benefits in creating community gardens, but here are a few ofthe reasons that we see as being interesting and important.Food security and land resourcesThere is growing awareness of the limited resources and farming potential that may beavailable in the future. You may have heard about the growing need for food security,described simply as “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economicaccess to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and foodpreferences for an active and healthy life”. Food security has been a major issue indeveloping countries for many years, but factors including climate change, drought andthe demand for livestock feed are now adding to global concern about this problem.Melbourne has its own food security challenges, with an increasing population that leadsto farmland being turned into housing and adds to the drain on our water supplies.Increasing the amount of readily available edible plants by planting vegetable or fruitcrops in your garden can help keep costs low not only for you and your family but also 4
  7. 7. for other people in the community. Education is key to the success of edible gardens.Knowing when to plant certain crops, how to maintain them and when to harvest theirproduce are important aspects of a successful garden project. Crops can be sold, sharedor swapped with others members of the community and thus the overall costs arereduced for all involved.Health and wellbeingGenerally speaking, health is connected to what we eat. The time spent outside doingeven low levels of physical activity will also benefit your health and general wellbeing. Wedepend on nature for material objects such as food, water and shelter and also forpsychological, emotional and spiritual needs. Gardens, parks and other naturalenvironments provide the nature we need to facilitate the link between human health andwellbeing.Linking nature into an urban environmentThe words ‘increased density’ are used more and more often as Melbourne grows in bothsize and population. There are many benefits to having more people within a shorterradius from the city centre including reduced transport costs and less of an impact on thesurrounding vegetation. Including nature in future urban developments, through gardensand parks, will increase the appeal of inner city living and is fundamental to theobjectives of Natopia. 5
  8. 8. 2. Getting StartedSo, you’ve decided that you want to embark on setting up your own local communitygarden. Perhaps you even have some neighbours who are keen to get involved. Here area few questions we think you will need to answer. Location, location, location!How do I find a space to set up the garden?This may well be one of the hardest questions to answer if you don’t already have a spacein mind. Remember to think creatively. Not all gardens need to be situated on an openblock of land that happens to be free for the picking! A garden doesn’t need to be hugeto be successful: one small garden may spur on other local residents to create anothergarden. Here are some examples of potential spaces for a community garden: • An empty block of land owned by the council • A planter box at the end of a dead-end street • A nature strip • An empty car space • A piece of land that you own (even your front lawn!) that you are happy to let other neighbours use • A portion of a local park • An unused lanewayRemember – the land does not always need to be perfect and fertile. Planter boxes are agreat option for plants! Obviously some spaces may require you to get permission fromyour local council (see section 4, below).It might be worth going to your local council and seeing if there is any land that iscurrently not being used or could contain a community garden on site. Often there island surrounding a block of flats that might be unkempt and in need of a bit of love!One person starting a garden can often encourage other residents to take part in thegarden no matter how big or small. 6
  9. 9. How long can the space be used for a garden?You may need to consider whether the land you want to use for a garden will be used inthe future for another project or development. If this is the case, you may need to makethe garden bed more temporary, for example use planter boxes or crates that can then bemoved on to another location when the land is no longer available. If your garden can bemore permanent, there will be additional planning you need to consider in order toguarantee its success! Temporary Temporary gardens are ideal if you don’t know how long you will be able to use the space you have in mind. Temporary gardens may also be more adaptable to: • Changes to direct sunlight • Re-development of the land • Contaminated or unfavourable soil • Seasonal changes There are some options if you think that this will be the case for your garden. An example is planter boxes. Depending on the plants or cropsyou want to grow, planter boxes (for example left over crates from the market) may notneed to be very deep.PermanentIf you have a site accessible where you know you can create a more long-term gardenthen there are some similar things to think about. For example, there might be adevelopment built in a neighbouring block of land that could reduce sunlight. Access towater needs to be taken into account (as it does for temporary gardens). Long-termcommunity gardens, such as VegOut or CERES may become very high in demand aswell. This may require you to think about the more long-term management of thegarden, for instance using a ballot system to allocate plots, encouraging people to taketurns pruning the garden and so on. Remember that it can take time for your garden tobe well established, so think about the people and systems that might need to be in placein order for your garden to survive! 7
  10. 10. 3. Garden Function, Purpose, and DesignWhat community gardens require, first of all, is imagination!Now that you have located a space (or have some locations inmind) another aspect to consider is what you might want yourgarden to be used for.There are a few things to ask yourself when designing the gardenand what should be planted. For instance how much light does thegarden get? What is the condition of the soil? What type of plantsdo we want to grow? Each garden is different and there will bedifferent list of issues associated with the space.There are many books and online resources for gardening and vegetable growingavailable that may be of use when deciding on the types of plants that you want to grow.However, receiving information from other members of your community about otheruses of your garden is probably the best place to start. Community gardens are mostsuccessful when people educate each other, share ideas, and once begun find that thefunction of their garden will develop quite organically! 8
  11. 11. Designing your garden without reinventing the wheelMaking connections with others is an integral part of Natopia. We encourage you toengage with existing initiatives and relevant experts not only because of what you’ll learnby getting in touch with them but also because it will enable you, as an individual, to passon what you’ve learned to your family, school and neighbourhood. The exchange ofknowledge and interaction between people is a vital part of any healthy community. Weencourage you to become familiar with as many of the relevant existing schemes andexperts as possible. Remember that the choice of temporary or permanent garden mightraise different issues.There are some questions to think about regarding the condition of the garden site.Particularly if the site is in a preserved lane, on a roundabout, next to a railway line, or ona vacant building site, for example. • Is the soil clean? Is it contaminated? If so, how to make it happening? o Think about the plots option for plants as temporary, raised beds will avoid contact with the soil o Think about direct access to the garden: is it safe? • Is there enough natural light in this specific location? o What kind of plants could be used if there is a lot of light, or a lack of direct sunlight? o Are the plants drought resistant? Can they withstand direct sunlight all through the summer months? • How will you manage water distribution? o Have you considered water tanks? They could be transported to a next temporary garden initiative. o What about direct irrigation beneath the soil? o Is it possible to arrange with the neighbourhood restaurant to re-use their water? This has been used in a number of gardens in Melbourne already! 9
  12. 12. Regarding the garden itself:• What types of plants for which use? o Are you focusing on food security first? And then plan the garden to be a place where people can grow and learn how to grow their vegetables? Think also about what would be the best plants for this: native or non- native? Which uses less water and is drought-resistant? o Are you considering educational programs? If so, these educational programs could be on a wide range of vegetation: native plants, aromatic plants that could be used for traditional medicines purposes; you are limited only by your imagination! o Are you interested in biodiversity and environment? If so, different flora need to be represented, including trees, insects and so on. 10
  13. 13. Involving the CommunityHaving a garden that is accessible to other members of the community is one of theprimary aims of Natopia. This incorporates both how welcome people feel at thecommunity garden as well as their ability to physically access it.Feeling Welcome (Sociability)There are a range of things to consider that will make neighbours and local residents feelwelcome at the garden. People can be naturally curious and will probably approach yourgarden whilst you are working on it. This is a great opportunity to explain what you aredoing and why – and of course, invite them to join you! Other successful gardens usesimple signs welcoming people to prune, water, weed or take what they feel as they seefit. You may also like to hold an open day or orientation day to welcome your fellowgardeners. Educational workshops are a great idea!AccessibilityIn terms of physical accessibility, in most cases the main intent is for the garden to beused by residents within reasonable walking distance. In some cases the gardens mayneed to be located near public transport and require easy access for maintenancevehicles. These factors may depend on the location of the site and may not be able to bechanged by you, but they are important to keep in mind.Creating a garden that is in close proximity to facilities may reduce the costs in setting thegarden up to begin with. For example, an adjoining building could provide access towater, toilets or shelter through negotiation with the owners. Again, access to thesefacilities may be less or more important, depending on the size of your garden and whoyou think might use it. 11
  14. 14. EducationGardens provide an opportunity to teach and learn from others. We believe that one ofthe most important aspects of Natopia is the sharing of ideas and information. We hopethat people who use the garden you create will share tips with others about how to growand care for the different things you grow there. If the garden contains edible plants,there might be other beneficial educational programs that could be run. These might beworkshops instructing how to cook with different herbs or vegetables, or how differentcultures use the same plants in special ways. For example, there are many educationalprograms available at CERES, a well-established community garden and farm in the Cityof Moreland. Partnerships, Networks, Coordination, CooperationTo ensure the success of a community garden, links should be made between you andexisting local programs that want to improve the life of their community in manydifferent ways: educational, environmental, not to mention health & wellbeing. Creatinglinks between some or all of those will give your community garden its best chance forsuccess.For this, it is worth considering the way these programs themselves work together. Forexample, educational programs could be run a community garden that demonstrate theimportance of food security on the wellbeing of people, or the benefit of growing certaintypes of crops that require minimal water, or the importance of biodiversity on the healthand wellbeing of urban communities. All you need is imagination! 12
  15. 15. We have researched some inspiring initiatives and bodies to liaise with in Victoria andAustralia, but there are also some fantastic initiatives that have been set up overseas.Here are some ideas of where to look! (For details of these programs see section 7) • Educational and voluntary programs: such as Ceres or Cultivating Community • Green Projects: such as Green Roof initiatives, Very Edible Garden, High Line Project, la Promenade Plantée, all of which show o Examples of start-up projects, identifying spaces, finding funding o Examples of the management of environmental and urban planning; • Research Projects, such as those in architecture and landscape, permaculture, horticulture, climate change. • Community Initiatives: Ceres, Cultivating Community & the Department of Planning and Community Development in Victoria.Academic Research and InnovationIt would be very possible for your garden to be linked with auniversity. There are many research programs that focus on howvarious plants survive in an urban environment. This can be avery mutually-beneficial exercise: Academic research like thistargets innovation, and needs to engage with new ideas frompeople on the ground who are out there actually “doing it”, and community gardens needthe technical skill and horticultural knowledge that can a research institution like auniversity can provide in abundance. It would be wonderfully useful to be in contact withuniversities to inject the latest knowledge and technology into the planning and design ofyour community garden. A link with a university may also help generate funding for theconstruction or maintenance of the garden, (further discussed in section 5, below).Links with SchoolsIt is worth finding out what programs are currently in place at local schools and if thereare community groups that could get involved with your garden. At several schools inVictoria there are healthy food programs that are up and running in which children aretaught to grow food and how to prepare it. The ongoing benefits of teaching childrenabout healthy eating and food security – particularly where food comes from – areendless! Schools in your area may also be interested in providing land for a communitygarden or allow you to use their grounds for food swaps and educational programs. 13
  16. 16. 4. PLANNING A COMMUNITY GARDENBe curious, expand your horizons, take initiatives, give everyone the chance to getinvolved, and let the community garden you have been dreaming about become real! Identifying stakeholdersCommunity gardens are characterised by the variety of its uses and the combination ofmany different people working together. Stakeholders are the people who have an interestin something that you need for your community garden to be successful. These are thepeople who can help you, and who you need to negotiate with. Here is what you need tothink about when planning your community garden: • Short-term and long-term considerations: o Who will be involved at the various phases of the project? o Who wants to be involved? o Who needs to be involved?Location – who are the most suitable stakeholders regarding the specific location of theproject? Consider who has most of an interest in your street, neighbourhood, city, state.What is in it for them? • Public policy: existing commitments that you could help to achieve with your garden project. For example, does your council have an existing sustainability commitment that it needs to prove it has done something about by the end of the year? If they agree to help you with your garden project, you will have helped each other achieve your goals • Public image: Are there any nearby businesses that like to promote themselves as being “clean and green”? • Core belief: Many individuals state publicly to have a passion for achieving many of the benefits that a community garden can achieve. Try to find someone to champion your cause! 14
  17. 17. It is also worth thinking about the diversity of your stakeholders. This means that youneed to involve and work with people coming from different environment and bodies:Give the chance to everyone to get involved!Finally, think about what the focus of your community garden is: a garden focusing onenvironment might have different stakeholders than one focusing on food security. Find an expert!The aim of Natopia is to provide a model that will facilitate the transformation of socialbehaviour and awareness of the others, and of nature. For a community garden to besuccessful, it is worth keeping some things in mind when you identify the experts thatwill help you. Here are just some steps to remember when attempting to get people onboard: • First identify the various professionals who can help a community garden. This might include people in these areas: o Public authorities and institutions (specialised in development, planning, and public policy. Some of them are already involved with sustainable development, food security, health and wellbeing) o Academia (architects, landscapers, horticulturists, and many more) o Private companies including consultancy firms (Some examples are law firms, architecture or planning design firms) o NGOs or International Organisations (some of them are specialised in various aspects of education, preservation of nature, and sustainability) • Identify how all these people interact together, and indeed if they interact together. • Set up a plan of recruitment of the people identified (remember that networking is crucial!) • The way you present your ideas and project has to be changed a bit depending if you are meeting up with someone working in water management or a landscape architecture. Consider the type of questions you want to ask to people depending on their specialty. 15
  18. 18. • Here are the questions to keep in mind when meeting with experts: what exactly you do want from them? Why do you need them? How can they help you?How to get people from a different field and environment get together and make it happen?Remember that the type of people you will be working with will depend on the mainpurpose of your specific community garden (only food security or health well beingrelated…). You might find that people from various fields and environment interactpoorly together. But don’t be afraid of this: it is not an obstacle. It can actually make yourgarden project much stronger! All of them have great expertise that could make animportant difference in the management, creativity and outcome of the development ofyour community garden.The motivation needs to come first from you, and also those who are setting up thecommunity garden alongside you. Getting people from different professions to worktogether is not always easy. This is often because many of them have never interacted inthis way between each other before. Everyone has knowledge that could be used in acommunity garden, but the trick is how to communicate and coordinate people in a waythat could be effective. A lot of people and professionals have presumptions. You needto be confident about the objectives, and why you want to achieve them. Often thebiggest challenge is being true to your original principles, and learning how to be anethical leader.The more you involve people from a different field and different environment, the richeryour experience will be, and the richer the experience your garden project will be to giveto your local community. 16
  19. 19. Community garden stakeholdersExamples from the State of Victoria. The stakeholders identified are only representativeof the main ones that might get on board. Sector Organization interest/ type Example State or Federal Government Department of Sustainability and Think Global! Yes your community garden is close to the place you Environment live, but the action you are taking by setting up this initiative could be supported and could interest the State and Federal government! Planning Authority Your local Council Victorian Department of Planning and Community DevelopmentGovernment Water Catchment Management Authorities Melbourne Water Water management advice Public Land Botanical Gardens Local Council Cities of These three councils are into sustainability, community garden, food Melbourne/Moreland/Yarra security. Check them out! Health/Wellbeing Health, Safety and Well-Being Inspiration and education Leadership Committee (Moreland) Recreation Parks Victoria Public spaces used for recreational purposes Community Groups Cultivating Community Experience, advice, on-ground support, passion Veg Out (St Kilda Community Farm) RotaryNot-for-Profit Online Network Community Gardens Network Local Useful to see what already exists Local sustainability education groups Incursion programs (CERES) Educational programs, coordination and partnerships Food Security VicRelief Foodbank Very Useful Body from which you can learn a lot! Architecture and Planning Faculty of Architecture, BuildingAcademic Innovation and experience and Planning Scientific Research Melbourne School of Land and Innovation and advice Environment Gardening Materials Yates/Herberts Garden advice and/or partnerships Private Companies TRACT Consulting (Planning, Urban & Landscape Design) These companies could be of great help in networking and PricewaterhouseCoopersPrivate supporting your community garden. (Sustainability and Climate Change department) World Business Council for Sustainable Development Melbourne Leadership Networks Committee for Melbourne Visionaries and Inspiring people to contact… they are dreaming Centre for Sustainability and designing your cities in the upcoming years, they are just like Leadership you! C’mon don’t be shy! 17
  20. 20. Promotion/education SBS Radio Why? People interested should be able to hear about your 774 ABC MelbourneMedia community garden, give a change to everyone to get involved! Other community radio stations NGO / International Organisation WWF Inspiring bodies, inspiring people and initiatives. They have a lot of Friends of EarthNGO passionate people working for them and a great deal of knowledge The Ian Potter Foundation about the importance of sustainability, environment, development United Nations Environment and well being. Program Recreational bodies Life Be In it Who said that a community garden only is about growing food? Soccer AustraliaOthers Think about what you can do there also to transform this green AFL area into a lively and welcoming place! Have fun! Legal considerationsYes, you need to think about this, too!In this guide we have suggested that you concentrate on using public spaces rather thanprivate land. We have only considered the option of a public space in Victoria at thisstage, but remember that you can use this example as a way to manage and approach theproject outside of Victoria.We have found that community gardens are most successful when set up in unusedpublic spaces. For a community group wanting to set up a new garden set up in Victoria,it might the worth thinking about trying to access Crown Land. Access and use of CrownLand and any risk liability associated with the use of the community garden might bedealt with through a licence system, issued under the Crown Land Reserves Act (1978).This is especially true if your local council agrees to be the managing committee of thecommunity garden. Any risks associated with using the community garden would thenremain with the Department of Sustainability and Environment. Local councils can be avery helpful vehicle for setting up a community garden project, so it is definitely worthgetting in touch with them! 18
  21. 21. 5. FUNDING THE PROJECT Where to find support?Don’t be afraid to knock on doors, share your ideas and beliefs, and ask for help! Youwill realise that a lot of people will be ready to help you, and sometimes people andindustries you have not even been thinking about. Open your horizons!Here are some options to consider when seeking funding and support: • Cash funding • In-kind support, including pro-bono work • Personal interests and initiative. Never forget the power of individuals to make it happen. This can be one of the most effective driving forces there is!Where to look?There are many options; the question is where to start. Try breaking down fundingschemes into categories. For example: • District / Community Neighbourhood area. (for example, restaurants, schools, churches, neighbourhood associations) • Local governments sustainability committees • State and federal government grant schemes • Private industries • Associations operating in your city • Institutions, including those associated with academia. (Research Institutes, which can be critical for securing research grants. 19
  22. 22. Costs / benefit analysisWhen contacting potential stakeholders and institutions, you need to demonstrate thatthe benefits of the project outweigh the costs – basically, that you’ll get more out of agarden than what gets put in.That means that you should not focus only on the proper expenses, (the watermanagement, the costs of plants, the maintenance etc), you also need to take in accountthe sustainable outcomes of your community garden and what you actually expect from yourgarden project: that is, not only a way to gather people from the same community orneighbourhood, but also a vehicle of education, of health and wellbeing and a way to usethe benefits of re-integrating nature into cities in environmentally sustainable ways. Askyour expert contacts for advice and examples of how the benefits measure up against thecontributions your garden will require. You need to present your project by integrating itinto the future you are imagining! 20
  23. 23. 6. THE FUTURE OF NATOPIA What’s next?This is just the first step in an ongoing project based on our research into the benefitsand uses of community gardens, and practical ways to begin your own garden. Astouched on in the beginning, there is a different set of challenges involved in creatingcommunity gardens on privately owned land, and a future version of Natopia willhopefully contain more useful information in that direction. We have suggested ways tothink about the most effective type of garden space, how to get more information aboutlocal planning regulations, the possible need for external funding, and how to findinformation about suitable plant types for your specific area. As such, this toolkit hasbeen something of a “portal”, a way for you, the interested urban gardener, to sourceknowledge from professionals who might otherwise be hidden (sometimes hidden inplain view). So what are some other ways that we can help each other in knowledgesharing about community gardens? Keen to contribute?The future of Natopia will be an online wiki-based informationsharing community. The authorship of the information will beapproved by a panel who will review the credentials of the authors.This will be the most direct flow of information from industryexperts in the various aspects of establishing community gardens, tothe people who want to do so themselves. There will also bededicated forums for users to exchange their own gardening andfood production tips – similar to what happens in the garden itself,but with people a lot further away than the neighbouring plot.We also want to establish a dedicated community garden in Melbourne called Natopia,which could act as a full-time resource and research centre. The goal would be to have acentral educational hub, upon which many other community garden projects could build. 21
  24. 24. And so…As we have seen, there exists so much energy and enthusiasm in a city like Melbourne forcommunity garden projects. There is a growing awareness of both what they can do tostrengthen links between people, educate, and provide a fresh, sustainable source of foodover time. There are many related challenges resulting from climate change that requirecomplex, co-operative responses. For example, there is a growing awareness of howimportant a role local community gardens will play in the future as a means of foodsecurity in the face of increased energy costs and growing global populations. Foodsecurity could quite possibly be the biggest challenge that human beings face within thenext generation. Learning to live well within one’s environment is what sustainability’s allabout, and helping to re-integrate nature back into cities like Melbourne is a fantastic wayto start achieving that sustainability.But the most important thing to remember about community gardens are the humanbeings – people just like you. All the resources, knowledge, and infrastructure are outthere, along with the will to make these projects happen. What they need is someone toget the project started. You might already live on a street full of people like yourself whoare just itching to grab a spade and start flexing their green thumb. So who’s going tomake the first move? The person who knows how to start. And who is that? The personwho just finished reading this guide! 22
  25. 25. 7. RESOURCES AND FURTHER READING ChecklistPlanning a community garden? Here are some reminders! Checked what other gardens are present in the community Identified space for the garden Found a group of neighbours or local residents to work with Thought about the function and purpose of the garden Designed the garden Made sure people feel welcome in the garden Talked to businesses or other stakeholders who might help fund the construction or maintenance of the garden Internet Resources Because we want to encourage you to expand your horizons… get on the net and have a look! 23
  26. 26. 1. Natopia: Who, What, Why It is time to act! Bring back nature into your city, into your life, into your traditions. Sustainability Issues, Health & Well Being of you and your environment:Home: Want to see something inspiring that could help you to understand how yourhealth & wellbeing and the one of Earth are linked? Here is an amazing and inspiringwork, Have a look! in the toolkit: Maller et al. “Healthy Parks, Healthy People. The health benefitsof contact with nature in a park context. Deakin University and Parks Victoria, 2ndedition, 2008Benefits of reintegrating Nature into UrbanDevelopment:Urban Climate Research: Design and Climate: Earth Observatory of the NASA – Beating the Heat in Big Cities: City Warmth Affects Plant Growth: on the projected rise of temperature in Melbourne city in 2003-2007: 24
  27. 27. Food SecurityExplanatory Document from theAustralian Government: State of Food Insecurity in the World, Food and AgricultureOrganisation: 2. Getting Started What already exists abroad? Get inspired by these few links! New York: Chicago: Philadelphia: 3. Garden Function, Purpose and Design Let’s make it happen: the garden of your dream come true!General Information:Sustainable Urban Garden: portal to Green Technology: 25
  28. 28. Community Gardens in Melbourne:Cultivating Community: Out: Community Garden: Australia: Edible Gardens is a backyard initiative but useful to get info about plant pots andbeds: Green Roofs: Have a look, you can find ideas about the way you can set up your garden Growing Up in Melbourne: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities: EcoFriend: Green Living: Gardens Abroad:‘P-Patch’ in Seattle:‘Cultivating Youth’ in New Jersey:‘Growing Community’ in Denver: 4. Planning a Community GardenSpeak about your ideas!Government:Department of Sustainability & Environment: of Moreland:, Safety and Well- Being Leadership Committee of Moreland: of Melbourne: 26
  29. 29. City of Yarra: Water: Botanical Gardens of Melbourne: Victoria: Recreation Life Be In It: Soccer Australia: AFL: GroupsCultivating Community: Out: NetworksCommunity Gardens Network: SecurityVicRelief Foodbank: of Architecture, Building and Planning of Melbourne University: School of Land and Environment: MaterialsYates: 27
  30. 30. Private CompaniesCommittee for Melbourne: for Sustainability Leadership: Coopers Australia: Business Council for Sustainable Development: TV: Radio: ABC Melbourne: International OrganisationsFriends of Earth: Ian Potter Foundation: United Nations Environment Program: and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations:http://www.fao.orgThe FAO has a special programme on Food Security: 28