At a public meeting in May 2006, a group of community members began developing the vision for a community garden in Mullumbimby. We gathered ideas, pictures, dreams and expertise with people of all ages and abilities to create a shared goal.
The process of securing a lease with Byron Shire Council for our 5 acre site, just 7 minutes walking distance from the Mullumbimby’s CBD was finally completed in April 2009, and with water being connected in the following August, the site development began.
The tenacity and persistence of the community in holding their vision has resulted in the creation of a major environmental education facility in Mullumbimby that supports the local economy and the diverse social fabric of community.
This project has now become the catalyst for more community gardens in the Byron Shire as platforms for encouraging sustainable living practices in the wider community.
- May 2006-Held first public meeting in Mullumbimby. A twelve member steering committee was established.
- Formatted the “Proposal for a Mullumbimby Community Garden” (who, what, when, where and why).
- Established an auspicing agreement with Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre.
- Developed support and communication with Byron Shire Councillors and staff.
- Formalized a management plan, guidelines and membership agreement.
- Identified a council owned tract of land situated at the end of Stuart Street, Mullumbimby and opposite the sporting fields – Lot 22 DP 1073165.
- Created “Future Directions” Business Plan.
- Secured interim approval of proposed site from Byron Shire Council.
- Established “Pods” (subcommittees) to research various issues including Design, Site, Fundraising, Promotions, Water, Bush Regeneration.
- Elected a formal management committee and registered Incorporated (Inc.) Association status.
- Secured $10,000,000 public liability insurance
- August 2008- Held our Opening Celebration and Welcome to Country Ceremony
- The site was shut down two days after the opening as Byron Shire Council conducts soil tests and environmental impact study to appease neighbors.
- 2008/09- Update the business plan to the “Strategic Directions”
- April 2009- Five year lease is signed with Byron Shire Council
- Stage 2 Site development is launched including Site plan.
- Compost Pod forms and begins making compost from local food waste and grass.
- August 2009 Byron Shire Council connects town water supply to the site
- Earthworks creating roads and swales for drainage.
- Construction of Stage 1 allotments
- Established the Food For All (FFA) community garden beds (funded by NRMA)
- Constructed the “Gardening and Sharing in the Wisdom of our Elders” rotunda and raised garden beds (funded by FRRR)
- Constructed the nursery zone (funded by DOCS)
- Construction of Stage 2 and 3 Allotments – 71 in total – fully booked
- Commenced Construction:
- Safe Seed Saving Shed (funded by DOCS)
- Disability Access Compost Toilets (Funded by Foodlinks)
- Community Kitchen rotunda construction (funded by Communities NSW)
- Integrated Resource Centre (funded by British Council)
- Installed on-site Office (funded by Byron Shire council)
- Created Bush Regeneration 10 year Plan and working agreement with Rainforest Rescue
- Established an agreement with Byron Community College and establishment of Education program including accredited Cert III in Permaculture and general interest courses.
- Developed Auspicing Agreements with:
- Shara Gardens Community Garden in Ocean Shores
- Byron Chemical Free Dunecare and Landcare Group
- January 2011 Awarded the ‘Byron Shire Council Environmental Volunteer Organisation Award’
- Created Project Management System
- Developed comprehensive Policies and Procedures Manual
- VIP Breakfast for sponsor’s, neighbours and supporters
- Planted 350 native, bush food & fruit trees sponsored by Mullum Music Festival.
- Established community service programs including Work for the Dole, Community Service and the State Debt Recovery Office Work & Development 0rders (WDO).
- Began the Children’s Garden zone
- Completed our Composting toilets with disability access
- October 2011- Held the Local Food Festival – approximately 2000 patrons
- Ran Permaculture Challenge program for 40 local 14-17yo youth funded by Better Futures
- Created our Social Enterprise program – Large agricultural plots for commercial use
- Established Volunteer Tuesday lunches and Friday night dinners
- Created the Food For All community Exchange program with donation boxes
- Consolidated efforts into completing projects and celebrating community.
- Living Soil Living Food Festival October 2012
- Changed the official name, organisational structure and constitution to Mullumbimby Centre for Sustainable Living and Environmental Education inc – November 2012
- Installed solar panels on office
- Dirt Club School Holiday Program January 2013
- Living Future Forum March 2013
- Applied for DGR status and registration as an Environmental Organisation March 2013
- VIP breakfast April 2013 with launched new website, organization name
- Established the MCG Men’s Shed Pod
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