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Embracing the Wilderness: Beenleigh Community Garden

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By Claire Fitzpatrick

There are very few places on earth where the natural environment has not been impacted by humans. Most of us live within urban environments and connect very little with nature, or the idea of wilderness.

Most of what we think of as ‘wilderness’ has been modified by human interference, fenced and cordoned off, unable to be accessed. We build fences around wilderness, put up signs to prohibit access, develop and extract resources from every inch of our lands, expecting it to continue to provide for and support us.

Members of the Beenleigh Community Garden

We forget about the joy and satisfaction of a successful harvest. This is why the Beenleigh Community Garden – plot of empty green space whether there would otherwise be a patch of grass beside the police station and courthouse. – is vital to our social cohesion, as well as our overall physical and mental health.

Community gardens have existed for centuries, though were only established in Australia in the late 70s. The first known Australian community garden existed in the Melbourne suburb of Nunawading in 1977, inspired by the UK’s first garden allotment scheme in 1908.

This scheme required local authorities to maintain an ‘adequate provision’ of land to be subdivided into allotment gardens for community members at a low cost.

Each plot was used for the production of fruit and vegetables for the plot-holder and their family. With the number of plots varying over time, declining in the 1960s, issues of climate change and self-sufficiency led to increased urban agriculture projects to counter these issues.

However, while Logan, and indeed Australia, doesn’t have a similar allotment scheme, community-minded individuals adopted the idea, and have reaped the benefits, especially in the lower sociology-economic Beenleigh.

Embracing wilderness, community connection, and sharing a passion for sustainability is integral to the growth of our society. And what better way to do so than via a community garden? Come and join us today!

Beenleigh Community Garden
Beenleigh Neighbourhood Centre
10/12 James Street, Beenleigh

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