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Community garden sets up as charitable trust

December 9th

The fledgling Motueka Community Garden has taken another step toward becoming a significant community asset by appointing trustees who will register the organisation as a charitable trust.

The community garden has grown rapidly from a block of vacant, stony land opposite the Recreation Centre into a collection of vegetable garden plots which are nearly all planted out and growing well, thanks to working bees by volunteers and water donated from the adjacent cool store. For further background information, click here.

The trustees were elected at a meeting of interested people last night, and they will finalise the trust document over the next two weeks and register the trust. The trustees are Richie Atkins (chairman), Grant Douglas, Tara Forde, Ron Sharp, David Armstrong (secretary), Rob Hicks, Ellen Baldwin and Lisa Cahalane (treasurer).

They have also appointed a group of four to manage the day to day operations and construction, and several of the trustees will fulfill specialist roles in advancing the work, including publicity, community involvement, legal matters, and funding applications.

Tasks slated for work over the coming months include eliminating couch weeds from between the beds, completing an area plan, ploughing an area further from the road to be used for a potato patch, refining the water distribution system to provide targeted watering of each bed, planning a sign and noticeboard, building a toolshed and potting area, planning a children's play area, and deciding on service areas and access for cars.

It will be another big day next Tuesday, December 14th, when Lester Rountree will bring his Clydesdale horse to the plot to plough the potato garden. That should provide an interesting spectacle for passers by.

The meeting last night was encouraged by the number of walkers who pass the garden as they begin or end the Inlet Walkway and ask gardeners about the new project. With further publicity and good signage, it is hoped that more people from the community will begin to take part also.

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