Celebrating the planting of the first tree - a heritage apple - at the new South Dunedin Community Garden this week are (standing from left) Dunedin city councillor Jinty MacTavish, Jason Ross of Sutherland Nursery, community worker Jeff Walker, Ngai Tahu representative Edward Ellison, Labour Dunedin South MP Clare Curran, Rotary Club of Dunedin South president Vincent George and project leader Graeme Copson. Photo by Brenda Harwood
A patch of unused ground at Bathgate Park School is to be
transformed into a large community garden for the people of
The community garden project was launched this week by the
Rotary Club of South Dunedin at a tree-planting ceremony on
the site attended by pupils and staff of the school, along
with council, community and runanga representatives.
The first tree to be planted in the garden was a heritage
apple tree provided by project supporter Jason Ross, of
At the launch, Dunedin City Councillor Jinty MacTavish
expressed delight at the development of the garden,
describing it as a valuable community project. Dunedin South
Labour MP Clare Curran said being involved in the project was
''It would be great to have community gardens throughout the
city, where people can go and participate - especially if
they don't have a garden in their own backyard,'' Ms Curran
''A community garden is a symbol of what can happen when
different groups work together.''
Rotary Club of Dunedin South president Vincent George said
the garden was an ideal opportunity for the club to be
involved in the community.
''We really hope that the people of South Dunedin will make
use of it.''
Bathgate Park School Community Garden project leader Graeme
Copson said the aim of creating the garden was to provide ''a
rich learning resource for the children of the school and a
vibrant focal point for the local community''.
''Members of the community will be able to come and lend a
hand in the garden, learn about different styles of garden or
relax in the space,'' he said.
Work on the multiphase project will start over the Christmas
period with about 0.2ha (about half an acre) to be developed
into several zones, including a decorative no-dig garden, a
large growing bed, a composting area, raised growing beds, a
BioDome greenhouse and a food forest. Virtually everything in
the garden will be edible.
''We are going to make a real feature of composting, because
it is so vital to the garden - and we will be able to hold
workshops on how to create compost as well,'' Mr Copson said.
Shelter belts, trees and a food forest would help turn the
community garden into a real oasis over the next two or three
years as the space was built up in stages, he said.
Eventually, there would be opportunities for people to
harvest vegetables and fruit, as well as build up their
skills, he said.
The Dunedin City Council had been supportive of the community
initiative and there had been ''a flood of interest'' from
''We have had fantastic support throughout the development of
this project - so now we can't wait to get under way.''