COMMUNITY INNOVATION AWARD 2021
Jason Giblin, centre (Kūmānu Environmental) with Joanna Hepburn and Richard Hunter, Marlborough Community Gardens
MARLBOROUGH COMMUNITY GARDENS
Winner: Community Innovation Award
Sponsored by Kūmānu Environmental
Marlborough Community Gardens started in 2009 and has evolved into a place where people look out for each other, learn new skills and growing fruit and vegetables.
Tucked in behind NMIT on Budge Street, more than 100 gardeners from all walks of life and cultures are tending to 74 plots and sharing seedlings, knowledge and the produce they grow. There is a strong commitment to Te Ao Māori, with areas for rongoā – medicinal plants – as well as harakeke for weaving.
Regular working bees include sessions on soil health, making compost from garden waste and chemical-free pest control. Careful irrigation and mulching helps conserve water and plastic plant containers are reused.
The Community Gardens connect with a wide range of organisations, including the Food Bank, Crossroads, schools, disability groups, beekeepers, herbalists, and health and welfare organisations.
As well as looking after the environment, they are building a diverse community that brings people and plants together.