Community Gardens

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What is a Community Garden?

A community garden is land that is used by the community to grow food, share information on gardening and environmental practices, and to meet like-minded people.

Community gardening is a public, not-for-profit community activity that can have many benefits for the people involved. It can occur on public open space which is owned or managed by Council.  Suitable locations could be parks, reserves, open spaces and community centres.

For more information, please read our Community Gardens Policy.

Who can start up a Community Garden?

Community groups that have formed an incorporated association are eligible to enter into a licence agreement with Council to run a community garden.  An incorporated association is a registered legal entity that represents small non-commercial and not for profit groups. For details on how to become an incorporated association, please contact Fair Trading NSW.

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How to apply for a Community Garden

If you are interested in applying for a community garden on public open space owned by Council, the process is as follows:

  1. Complete a Community Gardens Feasibility Application Form and send to Council.
  2. Council will carry out a feasibility assessment of the proposed site.
  3. If the site is considered feasible, you will be asked to complete a Community Gardens Establishment Application form.
  4. We will review the application form and if approved, will carry out neighbour notification and/or community consultation about the proposal.
  5. If your application is ultimately successful, you will be asked to enter into a licence agreement with Council permitting the operation of a community garden at the approved location. Only incorporated associations can enter into a licence agreement.

Please contact Council’s Open Space Assets Unit on 9710-0333 if you have any questions about the application process. 

Selecting a Site

When considering a suitable site for a community garden, there are a number of important issues to consider including:

  • Site conditions
  • Environmental impacts
  • Accessibility
  • Utilities and services
  • Security and anti-social behaviour
  • Operational issues
  • Adjoining properties

What sites are not suitable for Community Gardens?

One of the lovely attributes of the Sutherland Shire is our natural environment.  Community gardens will not be approved for:

  • Sensitive bushland areas
  • Sites containing or adjoining threatened ecological communities
  • Locations situated close to or above a creek or waterway
  • Land set aside for future development
  • Road reserve, i.e. nature strips


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Resources for your Community Garden

Community Gardens Australia

There are many online resources about how to start up a community garden.  If you would like more information on community gardens, including site selection and management plans, Community Gardens Australia's information sheets are a great place to start.  Their webpage contains a wealth of information about community gardens across Australia to help set up your garden.

Council Workshops

Council offers residents of the Shire a number of free Waste Wise Living workshops to help with environmentally friendly practices in the home, including composting and worm farming, and productive organic gardening.

Compost Bins, Worm Farms and Bokashi Bins

Compost - really is a revolution, that's why Council has partnered with Compost Revolution to provide the community with discounted items such as worm farms, bokashi bins or compost bins.  For more information, contact the Waste Services Unit on 9710-0333.

Council's Community Gardens Policy can be viewed here.


Fees and Charges

There is an annual fee of $620.00 including GST for the incorporated association’s lease of the community land.  This fee is as set out in Council’s 2022/23 Schedule of Fees and Charges and is reviewed annually.  The association will also be responsible for all the outgoings of running the community garden.

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More information


Enquiries can be directed to Open Space Assets Unit on 9710-0333 or

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