NMIT site fixed for new garden

SIMON BLOOMBERG
Last updated 13:00 21/02/2013

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A new community garden for Richmond is a step closer after the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology offered a site for the garden at its Richmond campus.

The Richmond Community Gardens steering group was formed last October after a public meeting was organised by the Tasman District Council to gauge interest. Yesterday the group signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NMIT for land at the back of its campus on Lower Queen St to be used to establish a new community garden.

Director of Finance and Corporate Services Martin Vanner said NMIT was happy to look at opening up part of its Richmond Campus free of charge to get the project going. NMIT already has a community garden on site at its Marlborough Campus in Budge St, Blenheim which runs well .

"The community gardens project has a great fit with NMIT's sustainability policy and our commitment to working with community groups. We are also looking at getting some of our students involved by incorporating some joint work on the new community gardens into a number of our trades academy and horticulture programmes," Mr Vanner said.

The steering group had looked at five sites but group member Greg Buck said the NMIT site was ideal. Tasman District Council environmental educator Rob Francis had facilitated the agreement.

"The priority was to have it easily accessible to people so they could walk or bike there and have good ground and security," Mr Buck said. "The NMIT site has all of those features and is a good size."

Another member Karen Lee said the next step was to hold an on-site open day on Sunday, March 10 from 2pm to 4pm to share their ideas. "We have a great site now we need to hear from the Richmond community about how they want the community garden to run," she said.

"Learning to grow your own food is such a valuable skill. Everyone should have some idea of how to do it, and there are many knowledgeable people in our community who are willing to share their expertise and skills."

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- The Nelson Mail

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