Boyd in bloom: green thumbs in Southbank

Two people standing beside a raised planter box. One them is using a watering can to water the garden.

Watch as the new communal garden and orchard next to Boyd Community Hub begin to bloom this winter thanks to the green thumbs of Southbank Sustainability Group.

Local residents told us they wanted a garden when we sought community feedback on plans for the new Boyd Park, and they helped inform the garden’s design.

Around 30 community members attended the first planting day in April to fill the newly installed wicking beds with winter veggies, herbs and a few flowers.

In keeping with our goal to increase people’s access to locally-grown food and promote food security, all Southbank residents are welcome to harvest the garden’s produce.

Angelo Indovino, one of the passionate members of Southbank Sustainability Group, said the garden’s success is due to many dedicated people quietly working to make things grow.

‘The work in the garden is very much a labour of love. It is about the communal planning and planting of seasonal crops, watering, weeding, composting and so on,’ Angelo said.

‘The orchard is still a work in progress and will have a variety of fruit trees.’

Beyond gardening, the Southbank Sustainability Group meets regularly to discuss all things sustainability and aims to bring positive change to the neighbourhood through a range of solutions.

The group encourages all residents take both individual and communal action to reduce energy consumption, including reducing the use of plastic, using public transport, planting trees and more.

‘We are currently active in the communal garden, reducing waste, composting and energy-saving initiatives in high-rise buildings,’ Angelo said.

‘As a nation we need to seriously reduce carbon emissions, minimise all types of pollution and stop the logging of our native forests.

‘There is so much to do and we will expand our activities as we grow our membership.’

Councillor Cathy Oke, Chair of the Environment portfolio, said the Boyd communal garden is a great example of how people power can create positive outcomes for sustainability at a local level.

‘Communal gardens are a great way to build more robust food systems, boost urban biodiversity, cool our city, enrich communities, and create more local sustainability advocates,’ Cr Oke said.

‘The City of Melbourne is proud to be part of an international movement of cities taking urgent action to reduce emissions and address the impacts of climate change, and we can all play a part in this goal.

‘We’ve already made incredible achievements, including becoming the first Australian capital city council to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

‘Going forward, we will continue taking bold action, working in partnership with the state and federal governments to increase uptake in clean energy initiatives.’

Get involved
The Southbank Sustainability Group meets at Boyd at 10am on the first and third Saturday of the month to catch up on sustainability issues over coffee and then tend to the garden.

All Southbank residents are welcome to join the group. It’s free, and members can be involved as much or as little as they wish. No prior experience
is required.

While the garden and orchard are accessible to everyone, the organisers ask that people who want to help tend to the garden work in an organised fashion by joining the Southbank Sustainability Group.

To find out more, visit the Southbank Sustainability Group on Facebook.

About Boyd Park
We’ve been working to transform the area adjacent to the popular Boyd Community Hub and library into a green space perfect for recreation, markets and more.

The new park will create a backyard for Southbank residents, one of Melbourne’s most densely populated suburbs.

A new half basketball court is already open beside the orchard, and the remainder of the park will open during winter. The park will also include 64 new trees, including nine 10-metre palms, so borrow a book from the library and find a tranquil spot to sit and read.

To find out more, visit Boyd Community Hub.

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