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Community Greening

Since its inception in 2000, Community Greening has reached more than 100,000 participants including adults and children to promote communal garden projects.

Community Greening have a commitment to take its expertise ‘beyond the garden walls’ and serve the broader community through innovative outreach programs. For residents of all ages we facilitate community-led gardens in social housing estates across New South Wales with garden projects in regional areas as far as Bourke, Kempsey, Illawarra, Taree, Albury, Griffith, Lismore and Inverell.

Sponsored by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS), Bloomberg and the John T Reid Charitable Trusts, this program empowers vulnerable communities while providing a broad range of health, training, economic and social benefits. The demand for Community Greening continues to grow, so our aim is to deliver 850 gardens and engage 150,000 participants by 2021.

Specific population groups – urban deprived populations, disadvantaged social groups, minority ethnic groups, those over the age of 65, and disabled people – are all less likely to visit green spaces. Their reasons include poor maintenance of public spaces, inadequate facilities and fears over safety. Meet a few Community Greening participants and learn how the program changed their lives in the video and Branch Out podcast below.


Parks and Leisure AustraliaThe Australian Institute of Horticulture, The Urban Developer and Keep Australia Beautiful have all recognised the outstanding program for the way it proactively provides garden-based learning for social housing communities.

For 17 years we have strived to promote social cohesion and help communities tackle adversity through the joy of gardening - all while creating future advocates for the environment.

Phil Pettitt, Community Greening Coordinator, Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands.

New research 

Community Greening recently announced a research study with Western Sydney University across five new garden sites. This is the first time such data on the Community Greening program has been collected in this way, and has the potential to advance our understanding about the impact of community gardening on health, wellbeing and sense of community.

The key aims of the program are to: 

  • Improve physical health
  • Improve mental health
  • Reduce anti-social behaviour
  • Build community cohesion
  • Tackle economic disadvantage
  • Promote understanding of native food plants
  • Conserve the environment
  • Provide skills training to enable opportunities for the future
  • Sharing expert knowledge of the Garden.

 When Community Greening participants were surveyed about direct impacts in their lives, the feedback demonstrated 85% positive effect on health and 91% said it had a positive effect on their community; 73% are exercising more and 61% are eating better.

The research infographic can be viewed here

Well, I know with me, I feel like I'm part of the community now, and I didn't feel like I was a part of it until now.

Local Community Greening participant

Get involved, stay connected

Community Greening is a non-profit program, which depends on government funding and private donations to operate. Click here for more information on how to setup a community garden in your own neighbourhood or download our brochure to make gardening more accessible. If you would like to stay up to date with the work of the Community Greening team you can follow them on Twitter or sign up for the newsletter here.

Read more about the offspring program, Youth Community Greening, which has recently celebrated it's 10th birthday. 

Meet the team changing the lives of people across NSW below.

Phil Pettitt is part educator, part horticultural advisor, but principally is a community development worker and problem solver. He has over 20 years’ experience in the horticulture sector and has provided high level horticultural services to the botanic Gardens Trust, the Office of the Governor and Historic Houses Trust. For the last 6 years Phil has been the coordinator of the Community Green program, working in partnership with many NGOs, local and state government services to inspire and educate social housing residents in community gardening.

Elizabeth Docking is passionate about her work in Community Greening and attempts to combine her years of experience in horticulture, varied industry experiences and personal interests to provide opportunities for Community Greening clients that are valued and special. Elizabeth considers herself fortunate to be employed in a position that allows her to be an advocate for the areas in life that she is most passionate: gardening, education, community building and assisting others to reach their potential. A testament to how fulfilling she finds this role is reaching a 10 year milestone in the position this month.

Brenden Moore has qualifications in horticulture, Aboriginal Studies as well as Community and Social Development. Through his skills and experience he inspires NSW Housing tenants to establish kitchen and display gardens, works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities such as the Thurawal Aboriginal Corporation in Western Sydney, Juvenile Justice Centres and schools to reconnect with nature and the environment, learn about native plants, bush regeneration, gardening, health and wellbeing.

Peter Dawe has been the Youth Community Greening Coordinator for the Royal Botanic Gardens for the last four years and has been delivering environmental education to students and communities for the last 30 years. This experience combined with a Masters of Environmental Management, Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Sustainability provide him with the expertise, knowledge and passion to deliver such an important message and program.

In 2004 with a degree in Creative Arts, Masters in Adult Education and a Certificate three each in Permaculture and Land & Conservation management, Paddie Lane began teaching an Urban Food Growing course for Petersham TAFE Outreach, Sydney. Core to this role was designing and delivering urban food growing courses across Sydney and the Illawarra. Paddie has taught a range of diverse groups, aging from preschool through to fourth year university teachers teaching nature-based education outdoor activities. In 2017 she worked with Community Greening to co deliver with Phil Pettitt the Master Gardener courses and in 2018 to join the Community Greening team, pleased to be part of a local and global movement of gardeners intent on growing gardens where affordable, locally nutritious food can be found along with the community who grew it.
Darren Martin joined the Community Greening team in October 2018 after being a primary school teacher for 24 years. While teaching in primary schools, Darren was a passionate advocate for environmental issues and providing students with meaningful opportunities to grow food in safe and healthy environments. It was during this time, that he met the Community Greening team and established a relationship based on mutual values that continues today. Darren combines his qualifications in horticulture and permaculture to provide Community Greening clients with personalised hands-on activities that enrich their gardening experiences and builds community.

Central Sydney Region

Kings Cross
Wayside Chapel, 29 Hughes St, Kings Cross
Main Contact: Wendy Suma
Email: wendy.suma@thewaysidechapel.com
Ph: 9358 6577

St Johns Maroubra, Maroubra Rd, Maroubra
Main Contact: Mary Anne Cameron, Anglicare
Email: mcameron@Anglicare.org.au

Kooloora Community Centre Permaculture Garden, 167 Bilga Cres, Malabar
Email: Kooloora@bigpond.net.au
Ph: 9661 9160

Newtown Community Garden, Longdown St
Main Contact: Ian Ferrie
Email: ferrie@bigpond.com
Mob: 0409 907 634

Poets Corner
Main Contact: Anna Kovic
Ph: 0401 774 559

Riverwood Community Garden, Belmore Rd Nth
Main Contact: HCAP Riverwood Community Centre
Email: hcap@riverwoodcommunity.org.au
Ph: 9533 0100

Leon Lachal Reserve Community Garden, Maloney St
Main Contact: Edith Nowman
Mob: 0423 505 953

Cook, Marton and Solander Gardens
Main Contact: Anna Kovic
Ph: 0401 774 559

ACON Eden Garden, Uniting Church, 56A Raglan St 
Main Contact: Keith Ferguson
Email: kayjay1955@hotmail.com
Mob: 0407 780 134

Greater Western Region

Airds Tharawal Aboriginal Co-operative, 187 Riverside Dr
Ph:  4640 3534
Local Enterprise Centre, 86A Greengate Rd 

Auburn Friendship Garden, 44A Macquarie Road, Auburn,
Main Contact:  9735 1229, email auburncouncil@auburn.nsw.gov.au

Bidwill Community Garden and Nursery, Chestnut Cres
Main Contact: Marjorie Mead
Ph: 0424 312 057

Chester Hill
Chester Hill Community Garden: cnr Waldron St and Hector St
Email: admin@chesonc.ngo.org.au
Web: www.chnc.org
Mob: 0409 906 216

Claymore Community Garden, Community Enterprise Park, 2 Dobell Rd

Holy Family Church, cnr Emert Pde and Weber Cres
Main Contact: Ray Donaldson
Mob:0447 229 904

Harris Park
John Irving Park, Jordan St, Rosehill
Main Contact: Ronda Evenden
Email: hpcc11@bigpond.com
Blog: www.harrisparkcc.blogspot.com
Ph: 9635 0157

Macquarie Fields
Men’s Shed Garden, Anglican Church, 32 Edgar St, Glenquarie
Email: manager@btc.org.au

2168 Organic Community Garden and Orchard, Cabramatta Ave
Main Contact: Jeff Lovett
Ph: 9607 8669

Mount Annan
Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living, 1 Mt Annan Dr
Main Contact: Helen Byfield-Fleming
Email: Helen.byfield-fleming@mcsl.org.au
Mob: 0418 662 941

Tallowood Community Nursery, 2 Littimer Way
Main Contact: Margaret Bourke
Email: tallowwood@thejunctionworks.org
Mob: 0431 731 094

Telopea Community Garden, Dundas Area Neighbourhood Centre, 21 Sturt St
Main Contact: Keith
Email: danc@pnc.com.au
Ph: 9684 4250

Villawood Community Garden
Cnr Binna Burra and Urana St
Ph 02 9724 3807

Wentworthville Community Garden, 73  Fullager Rd
Main Contact: Robyn Main
Web contact: web.me.com/wentworthvillegarden

Southern & Western Region

Barrack Heights
Barrack Heights Community Garden, cnr Wattle St and Carrington St
Main Contact: Cliff Ball
Email: bhcgarden@gmail.com
Blogspot: bhcgarden.blogspot.com
Ph: 0428 106 478

32C Popes Rd
Main Contact: Junes James
Email: June.james1@bigpond.com

Northern Region

Kempsey South
Kempsey Family Community Centre
Main Contact: Mavis Symonds
Email: mavis.symonds@kempsey.nsw.gov.au
Ph: 6562 1409

Bateau Bay
KBT (Killarney Vale/Bateau Bay/Tumbi Umbi) Community Nursery   
7 Debra Anne Dr, Bateau Bay
Main contact: Pauline
Email: flannelflowerpc@bigpond.com

Uniting Church, Feed My People Community Garden
Main Contact: Cherylea Pritchard
Email: unitingnwrm@bigpond.com
Web: http://www.unitingearthweb.org.au/explore/moree-uniting-churchs-feed-my-people-community-vegetable-garden
Ph: 67 521 170 / 67 527 152

Granny Munro Park, Coledale
Main Contact: Paul Moxon
Email: moxons@aapt.net.au

Spotted Gum Reserve, Bushland Drive
Main Contact- Enid Minett
Ph: 65 516 130

Wyoming Community Centre
147 Maidens Brush Rd, Wyoming
Main Contact- Manager
Ph: 43237483