The front of the block of land is a space for everyone.  Great seating & people can sit on the edge of the raised garden beds as well.

The front of the block of land is a space for everyone. Great seating & people can sit on the edge of the raised garden beds as well.  In time the three trees will provide some shade.

Last month West Ward Councillor Tsardoulias officially opened the Denison Road Community Garden.  It had been a long process for the community who requested that the space (Denison Road Playground) be changed to a community garden.

In 2010 soil testing found the ground to be contaminated with coal & coal products from fires & dumping of ash products from household fires in the past, plus lead & benzoate pyrine.

In 2013 Marrickville Council remediated the soil.  The total cost of $115,000 includes $85,000 for remediation & landscape, & $30,000 for planning & investigations.” http://bit.ly/185S8iR

I think this is great & sensible use for a smallish block of land.  Even though the vegetable planting will not start until later this year, it already looks better than it did before when it was lawn & two small trees & nothing else.  There was no playground equipment.

There are a number of these kinds of underutilized parks in Marrickville & Tempe.  I think that it would be great to see these opened up for this kind of community use.

I have read newspaper articles where some people say taking over these public spaces prevent the rest of the community from using the space. Marrickville Council has overcome this by creating a small section of seating at the front, which is open for anyone to use.  It is a nice area of seating that has raised garden beds on three sides.

Three trees, a Lemon ‘meyer’, a Macadamia & a dwarf Avocado, have been planted in the raised beds.  These trees will not only provide food, they will also provide shade for this section making it a very nice place to sit & enjoy the ambience.

Community gardeners are doing a great thing in my mind.  They not only create something that is beautiful, they will have the expertise to be able to teach the rest of us how to grow food on our own land should the going get tough as it is expected with the changing climate.   Food security & building urban resilience is very important in these times.   When I heard the group speak at a Council Meeting in 2010, they had ideas that were inclusive of the community.  They did not have a philosophy of keeping people out.

I think Marrickville Council has done a great thing here.   It could have been easy for them to say that the land was too polluted & left it at that.  Instead, they remediated the soil & have created a nice place for all & an area that will become an interesting green place for us to watch through the changing seasons.  This is placemaking & will benefit the community for decades to come.

This 45-second video shows the Denison Road Playground before work had been done to transform it into a community garden – http://bit.ly/1eDomcP

Another view of the front area.

Another view of the front area.

The remediated garden area.  Planting is expected to start by the end of 2013. Clever use of this space should allow the group to grow a significant amount of produce.

The remediated garden area. Planting is expected to start by the end of 2013. Clever use of this space should allow the group to grow a significant amount of produce.

 

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