Press Release – Auckland Council
A community garden in Point England has received a funding boost that will ensure plenty of vegetables are planted this winter.
The Island Child Charitable Trust has received $2300 from Auckland Council’s Environmental Initiatives Fund to buy, install, fill and plant new macrocarpa garden boxes that will extend the garden area.
The trust’s founder, Danielle Bergin, says the Tohea ki a Puawai ‘Strive until you blossom’ project helps give homeless people and families in need the opportunity to grow and harvest their own food and gain environmental awareness.
She says the garden has grown each year thanks to the Environmental Initiatives Fund, which has helped fund a worm farm, composting area, edible garden beds and espalier fruit trees.
“The fund has been so fantastic in helping us identify that our clients need more time in the garden.
“Gardening is very important for people who are displaced,” says Bergin, herself a former homeless person.
“It helps them reconnect with the environment and the community. Those are good things because there is a real naivety of understanding out there.
“With this, people can actually see how long it takes from planting a seed to growing a cabbage. “It’s wonderful to see people so excited.”
Bergin set up The Island Child Charitable Trust in 2005 to help high risk and low income families in the greater Auckland area. It offers one-on-one and whanau-based tuition to those in need.
Bergin says the aim is to show people how to rebuild their lives and get them the information to get on their feet again.
“We help in the process, but they have to do the work.”
The trust is currently in the process of securing 13 acres of land in Pukekohe which will mean “more gardens for everyone”, she says.