It all started with an idea
Warrnambool Community Garden is a common ground where all are welcome to come together in friendship to grow, learn, produce and share.
We want our community to have the skills and knowledge to be able to produce their own food and live sustainable, with less impact on our planet.
We value inclusiveness, accepting that all people are unique and have something to contribute, our garden serves a range of purposes to different people at different stages in their life.
We understand that everyone's experiences can be different, especially with sustainability, and we encourage members to be empowered to make the efforts they can in reducing their impact on our planet, by recycling, restoring and replenishing our environment. We are also about ecological, social and economic sustainability, using innovation and a community sharing focus to improve our operations.
Our site was used well before we transformed it into it's current use as a community space. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have taken care of this land long before colonisation and we extend our deepest respects to the original custodians of the land we now look after. The area we look down across, occupied by the racecourse, was originally a swamp wetland which would have been full of life.
2005: The garden started with a group discussing the idea of creating a gathering place where community could meet, grow, share and learn.
2006: Warrnambool Community Garden Inc. formed following a meeting with 65 people.
2007: Old quarry site with over 2 hectares of unused land was secured. Chosen for its central location and northerly aspect providing the perfect environment for growing produce with good public access and space for infrastructure development.
2009: Work on the site began with swales to control water run-off and the laying of a path to define movement.
2010: First garden areas established with 40 individual plots.
2011: Work for the Dole program provides labor for key projects and site maintenance while increasing participants skills and employment opportunities.
2012: The HUB (Healthy Urban Building) officially opened, an old portable classroom converted into a low-energy multi-purpose space for meeting, cooking and collaboration.
2013: Pizza oven built and compost bays constructed to increase on-site material recycling.
2014: Weed management plan developed with trials to discover organic methods for controlling the significant weed problems on site.
2015: Quarry rehabilitation project starts; woody weeds removed, and planting around the quarry perimeter and shelterbelts along the fences. Garden shelter designed on bio-mimicry principles officially opened.
2016: Landscaping around the HUB starts including the bush food garden and reflection seat recognising our site is a significant place for people of the Maar - Gunditjmara nations. Work begins on the herb garden, pizza oven mosaic and Chook Hilton finished.
2017: Renovations on the HUB building to improve function and connection to the landscape, including a new roof over the verandah with lighting upgrade. Employed our first site manager to handle operations. Finalist in the HART awards in the small community organisation category.
2018: Herbie the lawn mower arrives to help maintain the grass on site. Wednesday weekly garden markets commence. Bridge over the frog pond is completed. Pick My Project grant awarded to rehabilitate and landscape the quarry.
2019: HUB registered as a commercial kitchen. New website launched.
2020: Progression on the quarry project with improvements to electrical and water infrastructure, planting on the side walls begins. Garden market continues through the winter season for the first time.
2021: Development of the kids gardening program. Quarry amphitheatre shaped and planted with native grass, water is connected. Shipping containers arrive onsite to improve maintenance areas.
2022: Premiers Sustainability Award for the quarry redevelopment awarded to the garden. Dame Eggna was named Australia’s best named chook in the Grow It Local national competition.
2023: Quarry is lit up with its first community celebration. Work begins to upgrade the all abilities access area.
Next: We continue to plan the future of our garden - what part will you play?
in the Media
Warrnambool's growing community garden gets $100,000 - Warrnambool Standard - 23 May 2023
Work has begun to develop the limestone quarry at the Community Garden - Warrnambool Standard - 13 December 2019
Old Warrnambool quarry to breathe new life - Warrnambool Standard - 15 August 2018
The Warrnambool Community Garden - ABC local - 17 September 2008