ix. SUSTAINABLE LIVING PROGRAMS
The ease of creating local gardens, given some space and support, is seen as another way toward sustainable living on a personal and community scale. As understanding of ecological principles increases with environmental awareness, individual impacts are offset by developing more self-sustaining food and herb gardens. Also for community sustainability, through the state government funded Neighbourhood Renewal programs, community gardens are being considered as a healthy option.
The Sustainable Living Space project is auspiced by Maroondah and Manningham Councils, as well as several neighbourhood houses in the outer eastern suburbs. It aims to develop sustainability across this region of Melbourne, and is another area attempting bioregional relocalisation.
Project worker Bernadette Thomas explains that; “at the moment we are engaged in a consultation process with the community. Part of this involves facilitating focus groups. At each focus group to date there has been a discussion about the importance of community gardens, permaculture gardens and learning from others about sustainable gardening.
We have also been talking to a number of local permaculture groups about the project.…In addition we are hoping to start running a series of workshops in 2009 which will involve sustainable gardening workshops and tour/s of local veggie and community gardens to show people what they can do in their own backyards.”
The Sustainable Living Foundation (SLF) has also developed strong promotion through the Sustainable Living Festival. SLF’s Melanie Marshall described that they “showcase best practice sustainable gardening solutions through educational presentations and development of a real garden on site. A range of sustainable gardening enthusiasts (organisations) are involved in this promotion. The Festival attracts over 120,000 visits each year, and visitors are able to engage in sustainable gardening discourse” and interact with live examples”, including notable organisations mentioned in this report.