When is a Community Garden, not a Community Garden?
13 December 2017
A community response; after the people of our community were not invited to the announcement by Cr Greg Rogerson of a ‘Future Community Garden’ in our community.
~ When the community is excluded
~ When the ‘gifted’ site is controlled by the previous-current owner/developer
~ When the Councillor works with the developer and excludes the community
~ When the Councillor knows what’s best and forgets to follow Council Policies and Procedures
~ When the Councillor contracts an ‘outsider’ on the recommendation of a troublesome real estate agent
~ When the Councillor ignores the work of Council Officers and the community
~ When ‘they’ create the garden, excluding the community
The announcement was made at the launch of a new residential development which contains Lot 900, the garden site. The community is still waiting to receive a letter from Cr Rogerson about the ‘Future Community Garden’ project and an invitation to come along to a public meeting about forming a representative group to manage the site.
What do you get?
A Council Garden controlled by the developer and the Councillor.
Also, a media opportunity to promote the good work ‘they’ are doing which is much easier to do than working with the community.
The trees (1/2) will be destroyed. So, who made the decision? ‘They’ did.
When ‘they’ have got things how they want, the community is likely to get an invitation letter to a meeting about forming a representative group to look after what ‘they’ have done.
If this is unsuccessful, the developer gets a nice park in their ’boutique estate’. Any guesses what it will be called?
Once we know the dollar figure of the ‘Public Infrastructure Contribution’ paid by this developer to the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, we’ll let you know. This is public information.
We’re curious to know the details of the ‘trade- off’ between the developer and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council for Lot 900.
Philanthropy Lives on in Dulong!
Saturday 2 December 2017
Today we’ve attended the launch of a new residential development at 198-218 Dulong Road.
The BIG news is Cr Rogerson announced the site of our Community Garden. This will be the first public space within Dulong in 50 years (since Dulong State School closed from 27 August 1967).
The owners of the new development have gifted 1000m2 of their land for the Community Garden Project, including post and rail fencing.
We’re happy to see that philanthropy is still alive in Dulong! Further, we hope the owner of the Dulong-Kureelpa School of Arts site/remains follows the lead of Kate and Steven Pilcher and gives back what rightfully belongs to this community.
It’s good to see residents of our community getting together along with our dogs – committed to building a healthy, more connected community.
We met Pia Dowling, recognised organic gardener and academic at USC who will be working with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the community, to support the development of a sustainable garden and educational workshops.
At last, we’re on our way; more news soon.
We’re getting closer …
26 June 2017
We’re please to share some news about the need for accessible public open space in the Dulong area.
The Draft Environment and Liveability Strategy contains Council’s open space network planning for the future. The Draft Strategy has recognised the need for a centrally located local park in the Dulong area. Following the adoption of the Draft Strategy, an implementation plan will be prepared to prioritise the land acquisition program, to secure additional open space land required now and for the future. At this stage no funding, timing or priority has been allocated to land purchases.
Further, in regard to saving our heritage, the Dulong-Kureelpa School of Arts site and remains will be investigated in the process. It has been brought to the attention of the Council that the land containing valuable heritage is currently on the market and approved for residential development. So we hope to get some answers soon!
RESIDENTS GOAL TO SECURE AND PROTECT LAND FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF OUR COMMUNITY
There are lots of good reasons why it is important to secure land for current and future generations of our community and to create a community garden.
Research over many years has shown that gardening and growing our own food is critically important for our health and well-being. To have an informal, welcoming place to connect with neighbours and friends is currently missing in Dulong.
‘Community gardens can be a very effective way to bring people together and create a sense of identity and cohesion within a community.’ (Lowe & Stanley 2016).
Here’s an information sheet by Dallas Frazier, Dulong Community Garden Group Leader, listing some of the benefits of a community garden.
23 December 2015: Correspondence from Cr Greg Rogerson to Gillian Hall – Dulong Futures and Sunshine Coast Council officers
“I offer the following commitment.”
“I am fully supportive of a Community Garden site to be established in the Dulong area. “
“The site would cater for the establishment and growing of plants, herbs, fruit and vegetables as deemed suitable by Dulong residents and could also be used as an informal meeting place.”
“If there is the appropriate backing by the Dulong Community, I would be agreeable to fund the construction of a ‘Gazebo’ style Structure which would house picnic tables and seating and catch rain runoff in an adjoining 22,000 litre concrete tank, which could be used for garden watering and personal supply, from my Divisional Budget Allocation.”
“Whilst I am fully supportive of a Community Garden project, with the abovementioned embellishments, I am not supportive of any larger infrastructure, including a Community Hall, as I view the existing Kureelpa Hall adequately caters for residents of the Dulong Community already!”
“I am aware that conversations with Council Officers have already been held regarding the citing of the proposed ‘Community Garden’ on land, part of and adjoining the Dulong Quarry, but as yet I haven’t had detailed discussions as to their recommendations and thought processes behind any recommendations. Therefore whilst I am supportive of the Quarry site, I can’t categorically guarantee that this site is fixed in stone at this point in time. (No pun intended!!)”
“I trust that the above gives you and your community, a good understanding of my thinking processes at present!”
We are hopeful a suitable site will be secured in 2017. In the meantime, the Sunshine Coast Council has given approval for ‘On the Verge’ activities at the corner of Dulong and Thrushs Road, to continue for the next six months until negotiations are finalised.
Links to more information
Developing “Community” in Community Gardens by Chris Firth
5 Reasons Why Community Gardens are Good for Your Neighbourhood by Andrew Martin
Go Native: Why We Need ‘Wildlife Allotments’ to Bring Species Back to the ‘Burbs by Lizzy Lowe and Margaret Stanley
The parsley, the pig and the farm by John Mongard
The Science is in: Gardening is Good for You by Chris Williams