The Ironbark Gully Friends are imaging a Community Forest Garden. But what is a Forest Garden?
Make a Change is speaking with Jacky Vincent and he explains, “It’s challenging, and a big idea regardless of the forest’s location. It is a place where food is grown for the community,” Jacky says. “That community includes people and the wild life.”
The Friends, operate as an action group of the Bendigo Sustainability Group. Their aim is to create a Community Forest Garden stretching from Eaglehawk Road to Nolan Street, following the Ironbark Gully.
Jacky has been working on the project since 2013. “We have encountered so many barriers that I did not see before I started this project,” he sighs. “I thought I could plant some trees.”
Despite the barriers of land ownership, negotiating between local and federal government, complex regulations and financial limitations the group continue to grow their vision. Breaking the project into steps has made the way forward easier. Their vision includes a shared path, re-vegetation, community gathering and play space, growing food and an educational program working with surrounding schools. “The walking and cycling path will be the anchor for the project, and we will grow from here.”