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Community gardens

What is a community garden?

Community gardens are a place where people can come together to grow and share food, to learn, relax, reflect and make friends.

Community gardens provide a range of social, physical and environmental benefits including:

  • bringing people of all ages, cultures and abilities together
  • helping people to access fresh, affordable and culturally appropriate food.

Prospective community garden groups must complete the following steps to establish a community driven community garden on Council owned or managed land:

  1. Prospective community gardeners reach out to Council: Potential gardeners interested in starting a new community garden on council land will reach out to Council. A Council Officer will share this process to use Council land and discuss existing community gardens they may choose to use instead. There are other options which may prove to be easier to access such as private land, land at local schools or religious institutions, or Melbourne Water land. If potential gardeners want to create a new garden on council land, they must complete the Expression of Interest form.
  2. Prospective gardeners form a community garden interest group: Members identify potential sites for a community garden. Please contact for assistance if needed.
  3. Gardeners complete expression of interest form: If the group can fulfil the requirements of becoming a community garden group, the lead applicant completes the online Expression of Interest form (or the paper version of the form provided by a Council Officer). The form must have two contacts for the garden group who take responsibility for restoring the land in the event the community garden group ends.
  4. Internal Council stakeholder group reviews expression of interest form and assesses application: The Prospective Gardeners’ Expression of Interest form automatically gets sent to the internal Council stakeholder group (if completed online) or emailed to group by other Council Officer (if completed in paper form). The Internal Council stakeholder group meets to discuss Expression of Interest form and approves or proposes follow up stipulations, or denials. Internal Council stakeholder group sends outcome in writing to lead garden applicant.
  5. Applicant is notified of outcome: The Internal Council stakeholder group member notifies lead garden applicant of outcome.
  6. New community garden group is supported by Council: Council will offer support to the new community garden group through providing them with how-to guides for managing community gardens, will offer learning opportunities through workshops, and will offer funding opportunities when possible. All information will be posted on the council’s community gardens webpage. Council will encourage garden groups to join the unofficial, gardener run City of Whittlesea Community Gardens facebook group to stay updated on upcoming events, share news, and build community.

Community grants to support gardens

Grants are available for community gardens. Learn more.

For more information or to lodge an Expression of Interest please contact


Community gardens need to be accessible for all residents, including seniors and people with a disability.

Successful gardens are easily accessible to the community on foot, by bike or public transport and are located close to other facilities including:

  • toilets
  • shade
  • storage
  • seating

The Horticultural Therapy Association of Victoria's Resources page has further information about creating an accessible garden for people with a disability.


Community gardens can be costly to set up and all community groups should aim to be financially independent to help ensure the long term sustainability of the garden.

Funding can be sourced from grants, donations, fundraisers or partnerships with businesses and health care providers.

Operation and governance

While there is no right or wrong way to manage a community garden, community gardens are most successful when the rights and responsibilities of all members are clear and developed together.

Community groups should agree on a set of guidelines that outline the how the garden will function including:

  • purpose
  • plot and produce ownership
  • growing practices
  • how the group will make decisions

All group members should try to make the community garden an inclusive and welcoming place to visit.

Your local Community Development Officers can provide advice and guidance around establishing good governance processes.

Promoting your community garden

Promoting your garden is a great way to attract new members and let the community know what you are doing.

We will support successful applicants to construct and install a sign for the garden.

You can also add your community garden to our online Community Directory and the Community Gardens interactive map.

Garden guides

We have produced free Gardening Guides to help create sustainable gardens.

Explore the Community Gardens Australia resources.

  1. Complete a request form to close existing community garden on council land: Community Gardeners complete the online form here or via a paper form provided by a Council Officer.
  2. Form is reviewed by Internal Council Stakeholder Group: If actions are needed to restore property to its original condition, the internal stakeholder group will outline the conditions in written form and send to the applicant for follow up.
  3. Follow up: Stakeholder Group will send community garden contacts correspondence in writing of the outcome.

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