The Balgowlah Community Garden project was conceived through a partnership between Manly Council and The Cancer Council NSW and a shared vision of healthier communities in northern Sydney who are informed about and engaged in healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.
It is a community space designed for information sharing, social inclusion, and building community capacity.
The site is located on a residential block at 100 Griffiths Street, Balgowlah, NSW 2093.
Many people don’t realise that being overweight or obese can increase the risk of some types of cancer, in addition to increasing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Having excess body weight has been linked to an increased risk of cancers of the bowel, kidney, pancreas, oesophagus and endometrium, as well as breast cancer (after menopause).
It may also increase your risk of gallbladder cancer. In fact overweight and obesity has been linked to 11% of bowel cancers and 9% of breast cancers.
Unfortunately, only 10 percent of the NSW population are consuming the recommended 5 serves of vegetables each day, and over 50 percent of adults and 1 in 4 children in NSW are overweight or obese.
The community garden is a community space aimed at increasing the local population’s interest in and knowledge of a range of fruit and vegetables. One of the main aims of the community garden is to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables and to create positive attitudes towards eating healthily.
A volunteer committee, consisting of 12 local residents manages the day to day operation of the community garden, and has been integral to the development of the project.
From the first public meeting in May 2010, the committee have since built 4 brick beds, 8 timbers sleeper beds, and installed a range of aluminium beds as well. They are currently building their own shed, including toilet facility and have installed an irrigation system throughout the site.
The garden officially opened up to the public for the first time on Saturday 23rd July with the first Open Day signalling the first offer of memberships. Interest in the local community was strong, and one week later, 43 memberships had been accepted and the garden was officially operational.
Both Manly Council and Cancer Council NSW are financially supporting the Community Garden through the establishment phase, however to be a sustainable community project, the garden will increasingly look to local businesses for sponsorship (both monetary and in-kind), as well as annual membership fees, and community fundraising to generate funds.
You can also visit their website for more information