Joan Chenery, the secretary of the Rainbow Gully Community Gardens, at the site on Oleander Avenue.
Joan Chenery, the secretary of the Rainbow Gully Community Gardens, at the site on Oleander Avenue. ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN

Rainbow set to shine again

IT HAS long been in a state of disrepair but the Rainbow Gully Community Garden will flourish again with volunteers working with the Fraser Coast Regional Council to bring it back to its former glory.

Rainbow Gully Community Garden president Marian Graham and secretary Joan Chenery met with councillor Sue Brooks and recreation and parks capital co-ordinator David Ramsay.

Ms Graham and Ms Chenery have put a proposal to the council to have a fence built around a section of the Oleander Avenue, Hervey Bay, garden.

A fence is needed, the ladies say, to put an end to vandalism which has plagued the garden since it was started in 1993.

Ms Graham said the vandalism included a council storage shed being broken into and herbs stolen while at times needles were found.

Not only did the volunteers involved have to deal with the destruction but also struggled with drought and eventually became disenchanted, grew up or moved away.

“I’ve been so discouraged,” Ms Graham admitted.

But she has fought on, pruning overgrown fruit trees and approaching the council for help.

“We’re asking now to put a fence around the raised garden area and the rest can still be open park,” she said.

“The idea is for it to become a communally farmed garden and used as an education space.”

The proposed fenced area would be for conventional garden beds and for a space housing herbs, flowers and vegetables.

Ms Brooks said it was not council policy to fence off public spaces within Fraser Coast parks so residents could not freely use them.

“So the council is facing a challenge in this location,” she added. “I would hate to see a big fence around the rotunda area central to this neighbourhood park so I am keen to listen to any ideas about how we can make best use of the area and reduce or eliminate vandalism.

“I can’t believe that anyone could destroy plants but they do. Community gardens are something that I am very keen to develop throughout the region but vandalism is a constant threat.

“It distresses me that in this day and age we seem unable to eliminate this type of destructive behaviour from our community.”

Ms Chenery has been involved with the garden for a year and said the importance of it lay in bringing the community together and educating residents about rotation gardening, weed control and the region’s endemic species of plants.

A council portfolio meeting will be held during which it will be decided whether the fence proposal will be put through to the council.

Ms Brooks hopes to see improvements made to lighting and possibly have a barbecue installed, as well as a toilet.



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