The Pinjarra Community Garden is planning for a significant upgrade, pending funding approval for a major amenity at the facility.
The garden’s board are finalising plans and acquiring the necessary building approvals for the construction of an administration block including shower and toilet facilities, an office, kitchen, library and meeting room as well as a training and conferencing room.
In the 2016/17 financial year, Shire of Murray Council allocated $16,700 toward the project to leverage further grant funding.
A grant application has recently been submitted to Lotterywest to enable the construction of the amenity and supplementary funding has been secured through Peel Development Commission’s Community Chest Fund.
According to Shire President David Bolt the garden has continued to flourish through the hard work of a number of volunteers since its inception five and a half years ago.
“The Garden brings people together to connect with the environment,” he said.
“It promotes sustainable living practices, embraces education as one of its main objectives and is an inclusive community place.
“The Garden further ingrains the core principle of giving to the environment in order to take.”
Pinjarra Community Garden Chairman Peter Luck welcomed news the administration block could soon become a reality.
“The Garden was established to build a space where all community members regardless of background, age or ability, can participate,” he said.
“Community interest grows constantly, with member numbers currently at 55.
“The construction of the administration block especially the toilets, will assist in increasing community involvement by way of membership and partnerships with local schools.”
The Garden incorporates a nursery, raised garden beds and accessible paths to accommodate people with disabilities, soil and composting beds, an orchard, a storage shed and under-cover potting area.
It further incorporates a Lions Club of Pinjarra Memorial Wheel, where herbs, fruit and vegetables grow among memorial plaques for past club members.
There are also several lease plots available for community members to grow produce. Large plots can be leased for $100 per year while smaller plots are $50 per year.
The facility has been built from mostly recycled materials.
Garden members hope to eventually host market days to sell garden produce to the public and in consultation with local food and beverage establishments, grow and supply atypical fresh produce.
The garden enjoys considerable community support, not only through membership and volunteerism, but donations from local community members.
The Garden also enjoys support from Pinjarra Connect, Alcoa, Bendigo Bank, Mayday Op Shop, Colliers and Brookfield Rail.
The board is currently seeking assistance with the supply and installation of a solar power system at the facility to assist in achieving off-the grid status and enable an additional educational resource.
A chicken pen and wicking beds will also be established at the facility over the course of the next few months.
The Pinjarra Community Garden operates every Friday and Saturday from 9am-midday, with swap and share meets from 10am-midday on the first Saturday of each month.
For further information search Facebook for the Pinjarra Community Garden page.