Camperdown’s Community Garden idea has evolved as a means to enhancing the skills of local ‘Work for the Dole’ participants and Cooinda clients – mentally inhibited adults over eighteen. But essentially it has been an idea to uplift a whole drought stricken town. The project is the brainchild of Mary Brown, Coordinator of the Camperdown & District Community House in SW Victoria.
Talking to Mary and her offsider, Annette, at the Neighbourhood House Conference in March, we got chatting about ‘this vacant land at the back of the House’…..and how there is now to be a Community Garden there. My question immediately was BUT how did this concept get off the ground? Well……
As part of the Community House Program, it was Mary’s idea is to have as many community groups as possible involved:
Mary says that when approached the Shire was strongly supportive and offered to donate the land for Community use, though it will remain the property of the Crown. As well as the use of the land the Shire will contribute machinery and workers for the initial forming of the garden.
The local college Year 9 students are doing the planning, Y.E.S. will supply workers for the making of garden beds and local groups such as the garden group, Rotary, Lions, CWA, Cooinda, Quota International, CWL and the local scout group have all expressed interest in joining in the project whether it means having a garden bed or just helping in some way.
There was a great response from Richard Stone – grant seeker for the Moyne & Corangamite Shires – and the project has received a $1,000 grant from Australia’s Open Garden Scheme for Camperdown College to construct a waterwise outdoor classroom using indigenous plants.
NB Australia’s Open Garden Scheme is a non-profit organisation that began in Victoria in 1987. They aim to promote the knowledge and pleasure of gardens and gardening across Australia which they do by opening Australia’s most inspiring private gardens to the public.