2020 has been a year like no other, but out of such a difficult period has grown a positive and exciting idea – a community share garden to be created at Wangaratta High School.
This garden will focus on food production, sustainability and community engagement. It will be an asset to student wellbeing and provide practical hands-on learning opportunities to all. Once established, the garden will play an important role in linking various curriculum areas in addition to the connection with food technology. The garden will also provide a new opportunity for students who are not at their best in a classroom setting to shine. However, to be successful, this new outdoor space will require a partnership between the school and the broader community.
There is great ambition for this community garden and the first stage of the project is being assisted by a $20,000 grant from the Commonwealth Government. Some initial design work on the garden layout is now being undertaken and wicking garden beds will be constructed along with seating areas and other facilities across 2021.
This construction phase of the garden will provide opportunities for parents and the broader community to be involved from the start and define the very nature of a school and community garden partnership. Consideration is also being given to future stages of the project that may include fruit trees, display gardens, a green house, plant propagation benches and more.
Located within the grounds of Wangaratta High School, we hope to develop a strong link to outdoor learning and hands-on environmental education. Curriculum links and career paths will be established, ranging from science, art, cooking, English, textiles, wood and metal work. Developing this shared garden space will also provide an opportunity for school parents and families to be directly involved and not simply wait outside the school gate.
In time, the community garden will create a space to discuss permaculture principles and other aspects of successfully growing good food locally and developing the skills to be sustainable. It will encourage students to value their resources, organise as a community, delve into small and slow solutions and to learn to value and accept feedback. You will no longer need to watch “Gardening Australia” with Costa, as our community can develop and share their skills right here.
A committee has been formed to establish the garden and Stage 1 will commence in February 2021.
We hope that this is just the beginning of a project that spans many years and that the garden will grow into a much loved space. We can all envisage what a positive outcome this would be for our community and students.
Let’s bounce back after all the disruption and challenges caused by the global pandemic in 2020.
If you would like to be involved or have practical skills or ‘green thumb’ experience, please contact Louisa Hayes on 5723 0500 or Wangaratta.email@example.com.