TAMWORTH’S Community Organic Garden Group is on track to be given a patch of land to call its own in Victoria Park.
The group, which has been campaigning for the past 12 months to be allocated a space on community land to develop a community garden, told The Leader it was delighted a recommendation up for discussion at tomorrow night’s council meeting could finally give their group of green thumbs the green light.
Group spokeswoman Hether Milane said discussions about a garden had been floating around for more than two years, but over the past 12 months campaigning to be allocated some space in the city had ramped up.
“Our numbers have been growing and we now have about 80 people, from tiny to retirees, involved and excited about the prospect of developing a community space,” Ms Milane said.
“That space would not just be for members but for the whole community. Our vision for it would mean it would grow to become an education place, where people can learn about organic gardening and other forms of sustainability.”
The recommendation put to the council by parks and horticulture manager Brian Sheedy suggests the Victoria Park Master Plan – which includes the botanic gardens and the area encompassed by the miniature railway – be amended to include a community organic garden.
The report to the council says, along with the organic gardening group, the New England Institute of TAFE had expressed interest in developing a sustainability centre on land where the garden would be developed, to complement the group’s proposal.
Council staff and group members identified several sites around Tamworth and inspected them in June last year, before the group put together a formal proposal for the garden to be developed in the Victoria Park precinct.
The Victoria Park Master Plan was adopted by the council in December 2011.
The report to the council says while there has been no community consultation about the garden, extensive consultation had been undertaken with Victoria Park stakeholders.
Should the nine Tamworth Regional councillors approve the recommendation, the next step for the garden would be to discuss the proposal with the Department of Lands.
The council will need to consider whether it wants to amend and re-advertise the master plan for public comment with the inclusion of the garden.