A VACANT lot adjacent to Wallsend’s Stockland Mall will soon be transformed into a flourishing community garden thanks to a team of motivated residents and gardeners, with a little bit of help from their friends.
It is hoped that the garden, which will sit in the middle of Wallsend’s central business district, will become a place where shoppers can congregate, as well as providing a focal point for a wide cross-section of residents living nearby.
The project is being funded and supported by Newcastle City Council and Stockland Wallsend, and spearheaded by Bridget Noonan, a community development worker at Jesmond Neighbourhood Centre.
‘‘We did a letterbox drop ... and people came forward because they were interested in starting a local community garden, in volunteering, and in forming a community with other local people,’’ Ms Noonan said.
‘‘We have 19 gardeners on board, and a couple of guys from the Men’s Shed, all from Wallsend and most of them live near the garden, in the surrounding streets.
‘‘Once we get the garden planted we want to hold workshops on permaculture, water usage and cooking with fresh vegetables.’’
Ms Noonan said the garden would promote the principals of growing and eating local seasonal food that has travelled low food miles and teach the community about composting, mulching, the use of recycled materials, low water use plants, and gardening without pesticides.
A skilled contractor will facilitate the design and construction phase of the project, while members of the Blue Gum Hills Mens Shed will help build it, and Stockland Wallsend will provide the land and water, along with some $2500 worth of marketing, and Newcastle City Council will help fund it.