Hi everyone!

My name is Anna and I am secretary of Gympie Community Garden Inc. We are very much hoping to work with Gympie Landcare on a project in our new gardens. But before I get too excited… I should tell you a little more about us.

In 1988 a small plot of land on Cooinda Aged Care was planted with citrus trees, to encourage residents to get active and socialise. In 2011 the tree plot became a community-owned garden in Gympie, as an initiative of Queensland Health.

We received funding so the gardens could hold regular open days, which featured speakers, workshops and free healthy food. From various sources, we also got funding for tools and other equipment and to build raised garden beds. Bendigo Bank provided funding to fence the area from kangaroos.

The garden became incorporated in December 2014. Sadly though in early 2016, Cooinda Aged Care told us we would have to relocate as the construction of more buildings were scheduled for the facility.

As a result, for the past two years, Gympie has not had a community garden even though there is significant interest in the community for one. After negotiations, Gympie Council granted us a ten-year lease on a block of land opposite the aquatic centre in Tozer Park Road. Next to us is the proposed ‘river to rail’ bike trail that will directly border the garden. We believe the area is an ideal location for the gardens to be visible and accessible for everyone.

So where does Landcare come in? Well, we are pretty keen on establishing a native edible food forest in one of the zones of the block we have been offered. The idea is to grow trees that can provide food sources, education opportunities and workshops about eating and processing native edibles. We will be using the expertise of the teams at Landcare to assist us with designing and selecting the most appropriate tree species. We are also hoping to hold a working bee in the new year where the community can become involved and take ownership for the creation of this food forest by helping us plant it out.

We would love to know what you think of this project? Feedback can be emailed to gympiecgarden@gmail.com