Mandurah Community Gardens (the “Gardens”) is a place where people come together to grow and share produce, seeds, gardening knowledge and experience. This outdoor environment offers the Mandurah community an opportunity to socially connect with people from a range of backgrounds, ages and cultures to simply communicate and share a common bond around gardening. Like other community gardens the Gardens aim to improve physical and nutritional health, mental health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability, food security, social inclusion, education and training, economic development, cultural vitality and community resilience.
A community led initiative
In 2009, the City of Mandurah responded to interest and inquiry from community by supporting the development of a community garden. The Gardens is located east of Mandurah in the south west of Western Australia in a suburb called Coodanup. The Gardens were developed by a small but committed community group, supported by the City of Mandurah. Funding was also provided by Royalties for Regions through Peel Development Commission that allowed the development of key infrastructure including a shed. The City of Mandurah allocated a significant amount of time and resources to the development of the project, including project coordination by a Community Development Officer. In 2013 the City handed the project over to the newly incorporated Mandurah Community Gardens Inc.
Once the need for community gardens was identified and funding was allocated by the City of Mandurah, it took several years to gain traction, as challenges emerged including availability of suitable land on which the gardens would be located. The City of Mandurah had a number of potential sites however came to an agreement and memorandum of understanding with Coodanup College (Department of Education) as the site of the Gardens.
In 2012 the Gardens became incorporated and thereby autonomous from the local government and establishing a self-directed committee under the Association Act 2015 (WA). Transition to an incorporated body was essential in order to seek and secure further grant funding. Since the Gardens became incorporated, they have received a number of funding grants. These include:
- LotteryWest funding $15,000 – toilet and plumbing costs.
- Department of Local Governments and Communities of $9,900 for guest speakers, events and workshops.
- City of Mandurah Partnership funding for three years and $12,000 for workshops, signage, equipment and events.
More recently, the Gardens has received additional funding to purchase equipment, limestone pathway upgrade, shelter and seating and educational workshops and events.
Additionally South Metropolitan Health Services engaged with the community group targeting the Gardens as a setting for healthy food provision and nutrition literacy initiatives. The health service became involved in strategic planning, partnership building (with organisations such as Foodbank WA), grant applications and evaluation as part of building the capacity of the Gardens.
The Gardens encourages everyone to work together for the purpose of maintaining a functional and cooperative space. The Garden can only survive and thrive through participation and involvement from members and the community.
The Gardens work on an annual membership fee and plot allotment scheme. Paying members enjoy the benefits and responsibilities of membership. All members will have access to the Constitution that governs the Association. Members have the opportunity to assist with the community plots and attend working bees. Members receive free produce or seedlings, garden emails/newsletters and attendance at educational workshops, social events, networking and gardening skill sharing.
Plot holders have exclusive access to allocated garden beds within the Garden. Plot holders have the opportunity to:
- Plant, enjoy the produce of, and care for, their allocated plots.
- Assist with the community plots and attend working bees.
- Receive produce or seedlings if available, garden emails/newsletters.
- Attend educational workshops, social events, networking and gardening skill sharing.
- Committee members
- City of Mandurah
- Department of Local Governments and Communities
- Department of Education
- Volunteer members with a broad range of social and gardening skills, experience and knowledge
Ongoing. Set up cost approximately $75,000