Wattle Hill communal garden to thrive again thanks to grant

25 March 2022

Vegetable garden beds in a communal garden. In the background is a large red brick church.

healthAbility has recently received a grant from Blackburn South Community Bank (Bendigo Bank) to refresh the soil in vegetable beds in a communal garden at Wattle Hill public housing estate in Burwood.

This will be a significant step in making the garden healthy and productive once again.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the communal garden provided residents with an inviting destination, and fostered a sense of community and inclusion on the estate. It was an opportunity for people to share in the production and harvesting of fresh food.

During COVID-19 restrictions, minimal work was done to the garden, and it became unproductive. Recent hard work from residents as well as volunteers from Box Hill Central Rotary is helping the garden to thrive once more.

The grant will allow the community to prepare vegetable beds to grow food again. Our Health Promotion team will be helping to coordinate this communal garden project, which is expected to be complete in around three months.

Alex Salmon from our Health Promotion team (and also a healthAbility Dietitian), is looking forward to seeing the positive effects the restored garden will have for residents.

“We’re really excited to be back in the communal garden. This space has so many health benefits for the community, not least in giving them access to fresh vegetables and herbs. It will also be great to see how the garden helps to reconnect residents with each other after the isolating effects of COVID-19.”

The garden works are being funded by Bendigo Bank as part of the Wattle Hill social inclusion initiative.

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