Starting a community garden from scratch is a significant undertaking that requires time, energy and commitment. By their very nature, plans to establish a new community garden need to have strong levels of support in the community, and need to be community-led: either by a motivated group of residents or by community based organisations, such as clubs, church groups or schools.
Sowing the seeds in a new community garden can be an exciting and rewarding experience, however the path towards the garden needs to be mapped out and requires persistence and patience to establish the parameters in which it will exist. Below are a number of useful resources to guide anyone who is interested in establishing a new community garden.
Planning, building and managing community gardens
The following resources provide comprehensive guidance on establishing, building and managing a community garden, from the very first planning steps, to tips on garden design.
Obtaining Planning approval
It is possible that a new community garden will require planning approval if it involves a change of use (e.g. going from an industrial use or residential use to a community use), or the construction of structures. After a site has been identified, the community garden group should contact Council to determine whether the community garden will require development approval. For more information on obtaining planning approval, click on the following link or contact Council:
Licence to Occupy Council-Owned Community Land
If you are seeking to establish a community garden on Council-owned Community land you are required to gain a licence from Council for this purpose. It is a defined legal process to gain a lease and ultimately the elected body of Council has the power to grant (or not grant) a lease. For information on gaining a licence, please contact Council’s Community Gardens contact person.
Council will only licence use of land to a group that is incorporated. Therefore, in order to obtain a licence for a garden site, the group will need to become incorporated. The following webpage by the Legal Services Commission of South Australia offers guidance on becoming incorporated.
Plan of Management template
Community garden groups will need to develop a plan of management to set out how the garden will be managed and how the group will work together. The following Plan of Management template has been developed by the Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network.
City of Charles Sturt Library
There are many community garden and gardening related resources available for loan from Charles Sturt’s five public libraries. To search the search the library catalogue, please visit the Charles Sturt website.
To find out how Council can support community gardens:
Council’s community gardens contact person
For any enquiries or information in relation to community gardens, please contact: