Manly Vale Community Garden

Design Feature
Type of Project
Landowner Strategy
State
New South Wales
Location
Urban

The Manly Vale Community Garden, located in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, was opened in September 2010. The community garden features a co-located children’s playground, bringing together children, families and neighbours to enjoy fresh, locally grown food, public open space and to learn how to live more sustainably. The unique combination of a playground and community garden encourages social interaction between residents and visitors of all ages, bringing an abundance of youthful energy and curiosity to generate a strong sense of place in the gardening community.

Vitalising the local community

The Manly Vale Community Garden is an organic garden situated on land that was previously three housing blocks. The space features a combination of communal gardening areas and private rental plots, as well as Corbett Playground - a co-located children’s playground.

In addition to the provision of a space to conduct gardening activities and workshops, the facility provides members with the opportunity to host community and fundraising events, to welcome new members and encourage interaction with residents. 

The Community Garden provides opportunities for children to be physically active while at the playground.
The Community Garden provides opportunities for children to be physically active while at the playground.

The playground and garden are open to the public at any time, however a membership is required to utilise the communal garden plots. Garden membership is available to local residents for a small annual fee. Members must attend an Occupational Health and Safety information session, to ensure safe gardening practices. Users are also asked to attend a minimum of three ‘working bees’ during the year, which provides an opportunity for members to work together in the garden and build relationships.

The garden provides adults with the opportunity to engage in recreational activity through gardening.
The garden provides adults with the opportunity to engage in recreational activity through gardening.

Governance of this community facility is divided between the Northern Beaches Council, who manage the playground and Manly Vale Community Garden Inc (MVCGI), who are responsible for the administration and maintenance of the community garden. MVCGI is run under the guidance of a member’s volunteer management committee.

Features of the Community Garden include:

  • Large raised communal garden beds, constructed of galvanised iron, providing space for garden members to grow a wide variety of seasonal produce and herbs such as tomatoes, parsley, spring onions, artichokes, pumpkin and more.
  • The ‘Secret Garden’, which is populated by young fruit trees and shrubs.
  • Forty-five, 2-metre square individual raised garden plots, which members can rent on a yearly basis after a period of working in the communal areas.
  • Community compost bins incorporating ‘Drop & Swap’ compost buckets, which the public are encouraged to use, as well as specialised compost bins.
  • A garden shed which houses communal tools and garden equipment.
  • A greenhouse.
  • A shaded rotunda, with benches for seating, bicycle racks and a water bubbler. 

Project team

  • Manly Vale Community Garden Inc
  • Northern Beaches Council (Formerly Warringah Council)
  • Outhouse Design

Project cost

Ongoing

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