23 April 2018
More than 40 UQ students took part in the community garden workshop. Photo: @GCITweet
More than 40 UQ students took part in the community garden workshop. Photo: @GCITweet

More than 40 UQ students attended the inaugural meeting of the community garden participatory workshop at the Global Change Institute this week (19 April).

They were part of a new initiative to plan and design an exciting new community garden at UQ’s St Lucia campus.

The well-attended two-hour workshop included an introduction to the project and the proposed site, talks from other community garden facilitators, and facilitated discussions to develop a vision, objectives and wish-list of elements for the new garden.

To guide the design, an architect has been instructed to incorporate the vision, objectives, functionality requirements and mud maps of key elements provided by the working group.

The project is being managed by the UQ Property & Facilities Division.

Participants at the workshop held on Thursday, 19 April outlined the following values as being important to the St Lucia community garden.

Healing values – the community garden will promote physical activity and healthy eating. It will be a place of healing, providing access to nutritious fresh food as well as medicinal plants. The community garden will also provide psychological and spiritual benefits to its members, offering a sense of purpose and comfort as well as peace and relaxation. Staff and students not directly involved in the garden will benefit by simply enjoying its surrounds.

Social values – to be an area for students, staff and community members to gather, socialise and relax. The garden will foster community cohesion by bringing people of all ages, cultures and abilities together.  The club will provide an opportunity for individuals to become part of a team, to work together and to feel a sense of achievement. The garden will acknowledge and include the Traditional Owners of the lands.

Production values – to provide members the opportunity to produce seasonal produce, fruit, herbs, flowers, bush tucker. Members will be able to cook and share food. Soil fertility will be improved through composting and pests will be controlled through companion planting.

Education values – the garden will be a space for communal learning, encouraging inter-generational knowledge sharing and intercultural exchange. Knowledge will be shared through hands-on experience, skills sharing and the delivery of workshops.  The community garden will also provide a unique outdoor learning environment for academics to use within their teaching and research programs.

Recreation values – to create the opportunity for passive and active recreation. The garden will be a place for physical activity such as gardening, yoga and dance. It will offer a place for children to play, while also being a space for performance, art, and craft.  The community garden will be a place to sit quietly, to read or just spend time alone.

Environmental values – to directly support efforts towards sustainable food systems, providing an opportunity to implement ‘environmentally friendly’ production practices. The diversity of plant types found in the community gardens will also provide habitat for urban wildlife. The garden will utilise existing resources such as sunlight, rain, reused, recycled, & sustainable materials.

 

For more information, contact:

Christine McCallum
Project Officer Sustainability
Property & Facilities Division
c.mccallum@pf.uq.edu.au
T: +61 7 3365 7580 

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