Bundaberg ready to bloom with community garden
"THERE'S a lot of people looking for change and growth,” Oodies co-owner Suzy Evans said.
"This is an opportunity for people to be proud of this neighbourhood, for the whole of north side.”
The North Bundaberg community will soon be reaping the seeds of its hard work: Gavin St Community Garden is set to open on land next to the Railway Hotel.
The project, organised by Creative Regions associate producer Sasha Mackay, has come to life with help from landscape architect Darren Street, businesses including Oodies, Bunnings and the Railway Hotel, and a grant from the St Johns Grace Fund.
It will be run by Hinkler Lions.
"A lot of people who have been there all their lives have gone while a lot of newcomers have come in; it's really changed the dynamics of the place,” Sasha Mackay said.
"A community garden is an amazing way to promote a sense of belonging, and to encourage people to interact with each other.”
The plots will not be individually owned; the idea is to encourage people to pitch in wherever help is needed and share the benefits.
"We'll offer harvest days, a program of events for people to come back and learn about healthy eating and different garden techniques,” Creative Regions artistic director Shelley Pisani said.
Bunnings, who have provided materials and seedlings for the garden, will also help create art across the back fence of the plot.
"Through the harvest days, anyone who has spent some time and effort in the garden will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labours,” Sasha Mackay said.
Darren Street said creating the space was a welcome change of pace for him as he settles back into Bundaberg, his home town, after working on large corporate projects for many years.
He has given the garden a historic feel by building beds with railway sleepers.
"We all had a finger in the pie, throwing ideas around,” Mr Street said.
"We have a strong philosophy - when we do a project, it has to say something about the place,” Ms Pisani added.
Oodies co-owner Jason Haack said the cafe was pleased to be involved as a way to support the community - and they will be taking local produce to a new level, incorporating into their menu ingredients like fresh herbs grown right across the road.
All are invited to the launch next Saturday, August 27, from 8-10am. For information call Creative Regions on 4153 1218.