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GROW community garden yields rewards

THE Gardens and Recipes of Our World (GROW) community garden project in Clarence Plains has been awarded the Leading Community Engagement Practice Award at the Tasmanian biennial Australasian Housing Institute Awards.

Facilitated by Mission Australia, the GROW community garden has been designed and managed by local residents, Mission Australia Housing tenants and local services, bringing the community together to strengthen relationships.

The Leading Community Engagement Practice Award acknowledges the dedicated involvement of residents in creating the garden, which was established to encourage foraging, growing and healthy eating in the local community.

Mission Australia’s GROW Garden coordinator Andrew Doube said GROW was a perfect example of how effective community collaboration could yield fantastic results.

“This award recognises the amazing contribution the resident-led committee has made to create a space for the whole community to enjoy,” he said.

“It has been wonderful to watch them bring this seed of an idea to life.

“Residents are the experts in their own communities, so involving them in the creation and management of this garden meant the community now has a space that works for them, and that they are extremely proud of.

“We are passionate about ensuring all residents have an equal stake in decisions that affect this neighbourhood.”

The award is the second consecutive biennial Australasian Housing Institute Community Engagement Practice award that Mission Australia has won in Tasmania.

GROW was funded by a grant from the Australian Government Department of Social Services and has attracted additional funding over the past two years from the Department of Education, the Tasmanian Community Fund and private donors.

The garden also services the neighbouring school’s 24 Carrot Garden Project, delivered by Mona, and has housed a dung beetle breeding project.

The garden hosts a range of large and small community events including the emerging local Growers and Crafters Market, which will be held next at The Grace Centre in Rokeby from 10am–2pm on Saturday 16 November.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/GrowersAndCrafters.

The GROW community garden is now in the running for the national Australasian Housing Industry Awards to be held in Darwin.

Caption: GROW community garden members receiving the Leading Community Engagement Practice Award.