Community gardens merge to plot fresh ideas

Past president Phil Connor and new president Peter ‘Lewie’ Lewis at the Combine Street community garden.

MERGING to become one entity, Coffs Regional Community Gardens Association (CRCGA) and Community Use Permaculture Space Inc. (CUPS) members have agreed on a common set of goals which seed a bright future for the gardening group.

The merged group will develop multiple garden sites beyond the current Coffs Regional Community Garden in Combine Street as well as adopt permaculture design and education principles.

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“CUPS Inc did a lot of design and consultation around the Brian Navin park site that is still under consideration with City Of Coffs Harbour,” founding member and president of CUPS Inc. Peter Lewis told News Of The Area.

“The combining of the two groups can reduce admin and infrastructure costs and still achieve the goals of establishing and maintaining community gardens across the city of Coffs Harbour.

“The expansion means we can negotiate with Council to develop mini veggie garden plots and micro sites across the city,” he said.

Taking inspiration from the successful implementation of gardens of all shapes and sizes being fitted into cities around the world, Peter noted, “Other cities have areas as small as a few square meters with a raised garden bed, a park bench and a few herbs or fruit trees that are maintained and utilised by neighbours.

“It saves Council money to have locals care and nurture these small plots and generates great community engagement that reduces anti-social behaviour and encourages community connections across age demographics.”

The CRCGA members are actively encouraging multicultural gardeners and hope to develop further ways to bridge cross-cultural connections using ethnically different food, cooking and vegetable knowledge.

“We’ll be looking for the support and guidance from council to consult and implement community land that serves the needs of local neighbours.”

The benefit of the collaboration for CUPS Inc is the hard work of many years of establishing infrastructure by CRCGA members that has gone into the Combine Street community garden.

“The expanded group has a bright future ahead,” said Peter.

At the AGM, Peter Lewis was elected president of CRCGA after Phil Connor stepped down after five years of service.


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