I have some serious concerns about a proposal for a community garden in Cecelia Ravine Park, a $1 per year rental agreement that would last three years, starting June 1.
Given the fast upcoming date for the occupation, little time exists for the city to issue statutory notices, as required under the Community Charter. As well, no measurements are given, nor is there information given as to whether the boundaries of the garden could be extended later.
The proposal would be described more accurately as an allotment garden. Putting ornamental gardens in parks is one thing – they remain free to be enjoyed by all. Vegetable gardens benefit only a few and should be located elsewhere.
The Burnside-Gorge community has a lower proportion of park space per thousand population than most other Victoria communities, and growth is increasing. More, not fewer parks are needed.
A few years ago, approval was given for a strip of city land located east of the Pandora Avenue entrance to city hall to be used to grow vegetables, an idea apparently guided to fruition by two councillors. Costs involved included site preparation, hard-top removal, drilling through the wall, plumbing, the automatic watering system, soil, plants and other supplies.
The vegetables grown included artichokes, figs, cabbage and herbs, all in showpiece condition. There was no fence to separate the public, therefore the produce may have been picked before maturity by passersby on an ad-hoc, first-come, first-served basis.
Now a small time later, those efforts have gone for naught, having been demolished to make way for city gall renovations. Permitting even one vegetable patch in a park would set an undesirable precedent.