Community gardens

The City supports multiple local community gardens which are managed by community volunteers.

They can be food gardens, producing vegetables and/or fruit, or bush gardens, either focused on bush tucker or just on creating a space with local plants for the community to enjoy. Many are located on City land while others are on private land. Some of the gardens also run events and workshops for garden members and the local community.

Joondanna community garden

A vibrant and interactive hub for the local area focused on organic gardening. Individual plots can be leased, and members are also encouraged to look after communal areas. Members of all backgrounds, ages and ability levels are welcome.

Location Corner of Wade Street and Stoneham Street, Joondanna
Website Joondanna Community Garden 
Email jcfg@outlook.com

Westminster community garden

This garden has 15 veggie beds, a native habitat pond and a large mulberry tree. It is free to join and run by a small but enthusiastic group of residents. A nature play area is currently being developed.

Location Balcombe Lindfield Reserve, Westminster
Website Westminister Community Garden Facebook page
Email westminsterCFG@gmail.com 

Hamersley community garden

A colourful and creative garden that features recycled and salvaged materials. Garden beds are made from bathtubs, wheelie bins, pallets, and recycled timber and metal. Paths are made from pavers salvaged from the Mirrabooka redevelopment site.

Location Manton Dalwood Reserve, Hamersley (South of Beach Rd and Warwick Shopping Centre)
Website www.hamersleyhabitat.wordpress.com

Mustard Seed community garden

Located in the grounds of the Yokine Baptist Church, the garden is home to chickens, fruit trees, veggie beds, and includes an aquaponics system. Garden mornings take place every Wednesday from 9.00am to 12.00pm and are open to all members of the community.  

Location Corner of Flinders and Frape St, Yokine
Website Mustard Seed

Community Gardens

The City assisted school food gardens

There are many benefits of food gardens at schools including an increase in the understanding of garden cycles and sustainable agriculture.

Some examples can be found at Chrysalis Montessori School, Coolbinia Primary School, Deanmore Primary School, Newman College, Nollamara Primary School, North Beach Primary School, St Gerard’s School, Wembley Downs Primary School and Westminster Junior Primary School.

How to start a community garden on City managed land

Do your research

Make sure you do your research before contacting the City and are aware of the time and effort involved in starting, and running, a new community garden.

  1. Read the City's Community Garden Policy to find out the criteria by which your application will be assessed
  2. Check out other useful resources, such as the Community Garden Manual from Sustainable Gardening Australia, the City of Sydney's Community Garden Guidelines and the Australian City Farm and Community Garden Network.
  3. Contact the City's Sustainability Team to ask questions, discuss your ideas or to be put in touch with existing community gardens who can share their experiences with you.

Build community support and involvement

It takes a community to start a community garden and to get approval from Council you will need to demonstrate:

  • That you have a garden committee of at least 5 people willing to invest the time and effort needed to make your garden a reality 
  • That there is widespread community support for a garden
  • There is already community interest in being involved if a garden was to be established.

Some ways you can spread the word and gain support include via posts or a page in social media, talking to local groups, sports clubs and churches, approaching the community newspaper to see if they will run a story on your idea, flyer drop in your area and posters on noticeboards. The City may be able to provide some additional options to help you.

Plan your proposed garden

Gather your Garden Committee and develop a clear vision of your garden. Some questions to think about are:

  • What is the purpose of your garden? What benefits will it provide and to whom?
  • What type of garden do you want, and what will be in it? Sheds? Garden beds? Just trees? 
  • How big will it be? Will it grow over time?
  • Approximately how much will it cost to build?  How will you fund the building and operational costs?
  • Will you build it all in one go, or gradually over time? Who will do the physical work?
  • How will it be run? Allotments? Shared beds? Other?
  • Will there be a cost to be a member?

The Sustainability Team can provide you with guidance and assistance if needed.

Submit an application

  1. Contact the City's Sustainability Team to discuss your project and request the Community Garden application form
  2. Complete your application. Include evidence that:
    • there is existing community interest and support for a gardenthe committee is capable of planning and running the community garden
    • you have a plan to fund the garden if the City is unable to providing funding over and above water and insurance costs
    • the garden will be of benefit to residents in your local area
    • the garden will incorporate and demonstrate sustainable living practices.

The City will assess your application against the Community Garden Policy and identify sites within your local area that may be suitable. A report describing how your application and how each of the identified potential sites meet the criteria of the policy will be presented to Council for consideration.

Council will review your application and decide whether your application should be progressed to the next stage of community consultation, and which of the potential sites should be considered further.

Undertake community consultation

  1. Encourage community members to write to the City in support of the community garden
  2. The City will write to all households within 400 meters of each potential site for your community garden to seek feedback on their support for a community garden in your local area, their support for a community garden on each specific site and their interest in getting involved in a community garden
  3. The City will also hold an ‘Open Day’ on each potential site so that community members can talk to the City and the Garden Committee about what is being proposed.

The City will collate the results of the community consultation and present this to Council who will review them, decide whether to approve or reject your request your request for a community garden and, if required, decide which site will be used for the community garden.

Create your community garden

If your garden is approved, a Partnership Agreement will be drawn up between the City and the Garden Committee. The Agreement will outline the roles and responsibilities of each party, and how we will work together over the next 3 years to establish your community garden.

This is where the work really starts!

Funding the garden

consider grants, sponsorship, donations, and use free recycled materials to help fund your garden. The City will ensure there is a suitable water source connected to your site, will cover water connection costs and annual water usage costs. The City will provide Public Liability Insurance for your garden during the life of the Partnership Agreement, until your garden becomes an Incorporated Association. You can also submit a request to Council for budget to support the construction of your garden.

Planning the garden

Decide upon the final design and layout; and develop the necessary policies and procedures to ensure the garden operates safely, sustainably and inclusively. The Sustainability Team can assist you in this process, and a Community Design Day will be organised at the site of your garden to allow all interested community members to provide feedback on how they would like the garden to look and feel; and this feedback should be used to inform the final design, layout and material choices used in the garden.

Building the garden

This can be hard, but rewarding, work. Consider building your garden in small manageable stages. While most of the work of building the garden should be done by the garden committee and garden members, there are some infrastructure items that the City or its contractors must install for liability reasons. The City’s Sustainability Officer will discuss this with the garden committee during the planning stage.

Managing the garden 

Community gardens take ongoing management. You will need to dedicate time to managing your finances, on-site maintenance, communication with members, planning events and activities, becoming an incorporated organisation, and much more. 

Promoting the garden 

Membership of community gardens goes through ebbs and flows – sometimes you will have more interest than you can accommodate, other times your membership numbers may drop. To maintain the long-term viability of your garden, you will need to regularly undertake promotion and marketing to ensure that would-be members get to hear about the garden and have the chance to get involved.