Register your interest in a plot
Due to strong community interest, garden plots will be allocated to Boroondara residents by the interim Committee of Management via a ballot.
If you are interested in having a plot at the garden:
- email [email protected] by Friday 31 May
- in the email, indicate you would like to be added to their mailing list
- the interim Committee will send you instructions on how to register for the ballot
- respond to this email to ensure you are in the ballot
Any previous expression of interest, either to Council, the working group or the interim Committee of Management, does not register you for the ballot.
About the project
A new community garden (please note: file size is large and may take some time to download) is being constructed in Kew on the grassed road reserve adjacent to Earl Street.
During the planning and design phase, the project was referred to as the Earl Street Community Garden, as the site sits along Earl Street on land leased from VicRoads. The final design of the garden has the main entrance along Carnegie Avenue, with a secondary entrance facing Willsmere Road.
In naming the garden Willsmere Station Community Garden, we hope to help foster a strong sense of place for the community and garden users. The name reflects the location’s links to Boroondara’s past and the historic train station, which was part of the old steam era Outer Circle Rail Line that ran just for two years between 1891 and 1893.
Construction is underway and the garden is expected to be open by the end of July 2019.
In October 2017, residents were recruited to join a Community Garden Working Group to help design the community garden and develop the vision and objectives shown below. View our short video of the working group’s first workshop to find out more.
Council worked with consultant landscape architects, the Community Garden Working Group and community gardening facilitators 3000Acres to design the garden. The result will be a beautiful and productive garden and community space that everyone can enjoy. The garden will measure approximately 1580m² within the fence line, and will feature:
- 50 private growing plots (including raised plots accessible for residents in wheelchairs)
- communal growing and sharing areas including herb beds and a food forest
- demonstration wicking beds
- a children's area with circular garden beds
- a shelter and community gathering area with a storage shed.
A separate public shelter, BBQ and public toilet (Exeloo) adjacent to the garden have been included in the design, but are not proposed for construction at this stage. Construction of these facilities will be dependent on further needs assessment, consultation and funding.
Vision and objectives
Willsmere Station Community Garden is an inclusive and nurturing gathering space that is committed to the principles of sustainability in the growing and sharing of food. Its objectives are to:
- improve food security and promote healthy eating
- enhance the use of green space in Kew
- increase community connection and reduce social isolation
- strengthen local neighbourhood dynamics
- build a strong sense of place
- reduce our environmental impact
- encourage local biodiversity and connect with nature
- increase the number of locals engaged in food growing
- nurture curiosity and provide hands-on learning for children
- ensure longevity of the gardening community by using sustainable management practices which are open, participatory and non-judgemental.
In late 2018, the Community Garden Working Group formed an interim Committee of Management and is currently working with us on finalising the management plan. We will manage the construction phase of the garden, and once completed, it will be managed by the Committee of Management on our behalf.
The garden will have a low 1.2m fence and will be unlocked and accessible to the community at all times. All community garden-related activities must be conducted during daylight hours.
Membership and cost
Membership fees are used to meet the running costs of the garden. Annual membership for plot holders will be $100 for individuals ($75 concession) and $150 for community groups.
Residents and community groups will be able to apply to become plot holder members or general members. Plot holder members will be allocated their own plot and a container in the shed in which to store small tools. In addition they will have access to communal areas and are welcome to share in the harvest from these areas.
General membership will cater for residents who are interested in participating in communal gardening, but do not wish to manage their own plot. Also, if there are no plots currently available, general membership will allow residents to actively participate in the group while waiting for a plot to become available.
General members will have access to communal areas and are welcome to participate in maintaining and sharing in the harvest from these areas. They will be welcome to join in all garden events and will have access to the shed to use communal tools.
Waiting list and turnover
Due to strong community interest in the garden, plots will be allocated to Boroondara residents and community groups via a ballot. Following the ballot, any unsuccessful applicants will be placed on the waiting list with the order determined by the ballot.
Plots will be allocated in order with new applicants being placed at the bottom of the list. If a resident would like to become involved in the garden’s activities while on the waiting list, they are welcome to become a general member (discussed above).
Plots will have defined periods of tenure to allow more people to share the benefits of the garden, in keeping with the garden's vision and objectives. After their tenure ends, residents are welcome to rejoin the waiting list to access another plot when they reach the top of the list. The details of plot tenure are still being finalised.
To contact the interim Committee of Management, please email [email protected]