News from the Committee – we all need good neighbours
Part of the reason that Cooper Park Garden is successful is that we have a very active Committee that meets each first Tuesday of the month to discuss garden matters, plan events, discuss plans for garden improvements and monitor issues raised by the members. In between these meetings, Committee Members run the BBQs, liaise with people seeking to join the garden, provide induction for new members, purchase garden supplies and transport them to the garden for your use, publish the newsletter and respond to member requests for assistance. All Committee members are volunteers and conduct their garden responsibilities around lives that are busy with work, family, gardening and life in general, like all other members. This year we had a number of matters raised by members and we thought we would share some of them so that it is clear how individual and communal care of the garden is essential for its ongoing success.
To ensure that the garden is a communal environment where we can all garden successfully and learn from each other requires us all to be hands on and cultivate. Members’ active participation in garden activities, attending working bees and presentations and responding to Member Action items in the newsletter is essential for the wellbeing of the garden community.
1. Individual garden maintenance
This year a number of members raised concerns about weeds in neighbouring gardens that were moving into their gardens. The Pests and Weeds Taskforce monitors weeds and from time to time will contact members whose gardens have not been regularly weeded. The Committee would like to thank the members who have assisted in maintaining other members’ gardens at working bees to assist in reducing weed issues.
Members are also responsible for weeding the pathways surrounding their own plots and ensuring their plants do not overhang their plot. Plants that overhang pathways can make it hard to get the hoses to other gardens and impede wheelbarrow access. They can also cause trip hazards.
If members are not able to get to their garden while they are on holidays or have an injury, they need to arrange with a neighbouring gardener for their garden to be looked after during that time. Please email the Committee if you will be away for an extended period due to holidays/surgery/illness so that we can put you in touch with a neighbouring plot holder who can help with your garden while you are away.
On the membership form, members are asked to join a Taskforce. This is the group that a member will work with at the Working bees held each third Sunday of the month. There is a requirement that each member attend at least five working bees during the year to work on overall garden maintenance (note – not on their own individual gardens). This helps keep the garden paths free of weeds and well mulched, allows for planting and composting of the communal plots, assists with projects related to building and composting, and importantly introduces gardeners to each other to share ideas.
When membership renewal is finalised after 1 December we anticipate that Taskforce leaders will be in touch before the next BBQ in February 2023 to let you know what your Taskforce group members will be working on to keep the Communal Gardens and the general garden well maintained.
Photo below: Daniel Bloom in Design and Building Taskforce mode says “fake it til you make it” and starts shovelling cement for the workbench paving.