Randwick Green Councillor celebrates end of long wait for Coogee Community Garden – February 3rd 2014

Four years of planning are over and planting has started on the Coogee Community Garden site after volunteers constructed raised corrugated iron planter beds on Sunday

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson inspects the new planter beds at the Coogee Community Garden site.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson at the installation of the planter beds – Coogee Community Garden site.

Long term supporter Greens Councillor Murray Matson initiated Randwick City Council’s part funding of the project via a Councillor’s motion last year.

He attended the planting on the weekend and paid tribute to the core group of residents who had worked to bring it all about.

“The creation of this community project is a tribute to the residents who stuck with it for four years. Supporting local food sources through community involvement like this is something that I am personally proud of Randwick Council for doing.”

Greens motion to Randwick City Council. SUBJECT: Motion Pursuant To Notice – “Additional funding for Coogee Community Garden”

BACKGROUND:

A small committee (supported by over 100 community members) has been working for almost 4 years to establish the Coogee Community Garden on Dolphin Street.

They report that they recently signed a Licence Agreement that gives them in principle permission from Crown Lands to start building on the site. But they require further funding to make the community garden an actual reality.

The committee states that is has raised $25,000 via grants but needs around another $30,000 to build the garden in full. In addition, they are seeking funding to pay for the services of an experienced Landscape Designer / Project Manager to oversee the build, implementation and initial operating phase. They have recently applied for a council grant (Cultural and Community Grants) but were unfortunately ineligible.

They have emailed me stating that,

“The Coogee Community Garden aims to build a sense of community, offer a place where people can share knowledge and fresh garden produce. The CCG will be a community asset that will encourage the development of our community through gardening – a space fostering communication, community-connectedness and friendship. There are also multiple Health & Wellbeing and Environmental benefits from a community garden for the Randwick/Coogee community. The CCG will provide fresh produce and plants as well as satisfying work, neighbourhood improvement, a sense of community and connection to the environment. The garden will be a community space for healthy social interaction and physical exercise.”

They further claim anecdotal evidence that people who grow their own food are more likely to consume it and therefore reap the health benefits. They also suggest that environmentally, carbon emissions could be reduced as food travels less from where it is grown to where it is consumed and no harmful chemicals or insecticides will be used.

The committee expects to potentially reduce food waste by over 21 tonnes each year through composting and to save 7 tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution each year.

TEXT OF MOTION:

That Council fund the Coogee Community Garden project $30,000 either through savings, or if savings are not possible, via consideration in the coming draft Council budget.

MOTION LODGED BY:GREENS COUNCILLOR MURRAY MATSON

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