Community Gardens Flourish

29 January 2013

The Jay Street community garden in Newlands celebrated its first anniversary in December and volunteers are already eating the fruits of their labours.

Thanks to the efforts of these local enthusiasts, a large grass field full of dock weed at the end of Jay Street, behind Newlands College, has been turned into a productive garden. There are now 30 raised beds full of vegetables, fruit trees, berries and a native plant nursery.

Jay Street is one of 31 community gardens and orchards in the city. Nine of these have leases or agreements with the Council, another 18 gardens are part of Council housing complexes, with other community gardens on private land. Apart from Jay Street, other gardens include the Island Bay and Berhampore community orchard.

The Jay Street community garden is on a 1,500 sq m site that had been destined for the Council's for-sale list until Charmaine Meyers and Peter Gilberd asked to establish a community garden and nursery. Charmaine says Council support has been critical - providing advice, materials and land.

The Jay Street gardeners also have a lot of support from other community groups, including the Glenside Streamcare group, which donated a shade house, and the Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi Marae planting group, which is contributing plants to the nursery. Anyone is welcome to come along to the working bees at the garden.

Meanwhile, Innermost City Gardens in Mount Victoria has plans to expand. The group, which uses a large former bowling club site, has just received an $8,500 environmental grant from the Council to extend their edible garden. They are also running a local permaculture design course starting next month. Project coordinator Sarah Adams says they aim to get more local organisations active in the gardens.

City Housing community gardens are available for all our tenants who are interested in growing produce and plants. "Our Community Action programme aims to encourage tenants to get involved with the community gardens," says Senior Community Advisor Jo Burleigh.

"It's an active, creative and healthy activity and a great way to get to know your neighbours and connect with the wider Wellington garden community."

Jo says tenant gardeners are offered support and training throughout the year, including field trips and workshops. Gardeners have shared their knowledge by hosting free food foraging trips, planting and cooking demonstrations, and by helping City Housing draft guidelines for community garden use.

We're keen to support more community gardens in the city. For more information, phone Senior Park Ranger Steven Peters on (04) 499 4444 or visit:

Community Gardens

To find out about City Housing gardens, phone Senior Community Advisor Jo Burleigh on (04) 803 8790.

To contact the Jay Street community garden, email info@ncg.org.nz 

To contact Innermost Garden, email expressionofinnermost@gmail.com