Guerilla Gardeners Get a Green Light

jackson-guerrilla1resizedBy Sue Jackson
New Matilda

Guerrilla gardens might not have ‘owners’ but they sure have defenders, as Yarra Council discovered when it tried to wipe out the gardens.

At its regular monthly meeting in August, Melbourne’s Yarra Council won itself a green star for forward thinking. Instead of razing local unauthorised street gardens as it had threatened to shortly before the meeting, it did a complete about-face, voting unanimously to become a champion of such initiatives instead.

Yarra, like quite a few other municipalities, is increasingly becoming dotted with community-initiated gardens. These include registered, secure community gardens that councils approve and support, but there are also others — guerilla gardens located in places like planter boxes in the street or on abandoned public land, which are established without prior council approval. As their survival relies on councils turning a blind eye, the future of each individual garden of this type is always precarious.

Guerilla gardeners live with this knowledge, but tend to push it to the back of their minds. At least that had been the case for me and my fellow renegades at Windmill Foodgarden @ Tramstop 22 in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill — right up until the axe fell in early August. The story of what happened next — the spontaneous campaign which overturned a silly decision so successfully that enemies of guerrilla gardens are now its friends — might be useful to anyone else out there trying to bring change on this issue at a local level.

Read full post at New Matilda

6 responses to “Guerilla Gardeners Get a Green Light

  1. I never knew that there was such a thing as a “guerrila” garden. Whoever was the brain child of this wonderful concept to share the fruits of the earth with others is to be commended. Perhaps this info is within the post, but as is my bad habit – I basically peruse an article and then go back for more serious reading. So glad too that an ignorant council decided with good reason to reverse their negative threat to uproot your gardening efforts. Didn’t they see the First Lady planting a garden on White House grounds? Obviously, they don’t watch the news. I hope that the idea proliferates. I saw a couple of “community” gardens in my Ohio neighborhood but I think your idea is more welcoming. Continued rich harvests for all who need to pick from it.

    • “guerrilla gardening” is a much better repackagin of “Johnny Appleseed” – and the idea is global… UK, US, Australia.. probably everywhere, and has been going on for as long as we’ve planted seeds.

      In LA they call them “seed missions” … lol, whatever it takes.

      I love it, too!

  2. Great, I did not know about this topic until now. Thanks.

  3. Pingback: Guerilla Gardens & forward-thinking councils

  4. Instead of hard-packed boring grass verges, and “lovely tidy ” front gardens (where we are privileged to have such a thing), plant a riot of herbs, food plants, fruit trees and local indigenous plants for the non-human residents of our suburbs to share. Make the transition to a low carbon low oil economy with a fruitful neighbourhood.

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