Gowanbrae Community Garden launches in time for Spring (media release)

13 November 2019

Gowanbrae residents are enjoying a new community garden as part of Merri-bek Council’s Gowanbrae Open Space Development and Management Plan.

Gowanbrae residents and Gowanbrae Children’s Centre celebrated the completion of the basic garden infrastructure with Cr Natalie Abboud in September, including landscaping, pathways, table and chairs, garden beds and the first stage of plantings.

A ceremonial planting of a lemon myrtle tree marked the official opening of the garden, which will be continuously activated through community participation.

“The community told us they would like to create a beautiful place where residents can grow productive and ornamental plants as well as a space to meet, share, connect and learn about food and gardening together,” Said Mayor of Merri-bek, Cr Lambros Tapinos.

“Community gardens can provide opportunities for residents to develop deep connections to food, to understand where it comes from and appreciate the resources that go into growing and producing it.”

The new development brings the total number of community gardens in Merri-bek to 21.

Active community gardens include Gowanbrae Community Garden, Reynard Street Community Garden and the Fawkner Food Bowls, all of which have received Council support.

The new Gowanbrae community garden will also hold sentimental value for the Gowanbrae Residents Group (GRG) and many locals, with the installation of a seat and plaque adjacent to the community garden as a memorial to long-serving GRG President Ron Dorre.

In recommending the memorial seat to Council, Cr John Kavanagh said: “Ron’s contribution to Gowanbrae was enormous. He was a greatly loved and admired Gowanbrae resident. Many describe him as the heart and soul of Gowanbrae. It is fitting that his contribution to Gowanbrae be recognised.”

The Gowanbrae Residents Group (GRG) liaised with Council’s Open Space Design team over 18 months to involve the local community and include their input to their design of the garden.

Further plans for Gowanbrae Community Garden include additional features and plants to be implemented as funding and the capacity of the community garden group allows.