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Something extra to be happy about
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Southbank Sustainability Group

06 Oct 2020

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Something extra to be happy about

By Artemis Pattichi 

While we are all happy that restrictions are easing and the weather is getting warmer, our group has an additional reason to be happy … we are a finalist for the environment category of the 2020 Sustainable Cities Awards by Keep Victoria Beautiful (KVB)!

The 2020 Sustainable Cities Awards recognise and celebrate exceptional environmental work done by communities and councils across the whole state of Victoria. The environment category focuses on work done that protects, restores and prevents damage to the natural environment. What puts us in the good company of other finalists, like the Yarra Riverkeeper Association, is both our fight and win to establish a permanent community vegie garden in our concrete-heavy neighbourhood, along with our many, creative educational activities over the last couple of years, which brought long-term behavioural change in our community’s waste output and carbon footprint. To read more about the awards and see all finalists visit kvb.org.au/sustainable-cities/sustainable_cities_2020_finalists

You can watch the winners announced on the virtual awards ceremony on November 12 at 8pm, on the KVB Sustainable Cities YouTube channel. Wish us luck!

Receiving this good news was especially important to us this month, especially when on the other end, we’ve seen a planning permit application submitted, which if granted, will take away our Boyd orchard area (large concrete planters by the orange container) and basketball court, along with a big chunk of green space, to put up a high-rise apartment building.

While there will be a good amount of community space allocated within the building, it will also mean taking away an important part of open green space and exercise space from our community, and half the community garden from our group. We’ve filed an objection representing the 160-plus members of our group and the wider community. Hopefully enough objections have been received to keep this important space, where the community comes together, intact.

Garden talk

Spring is here! You will see that some of the garden beds that had gone to seed have been cleared and are now housing young seedlings. While those younglings are growing, we have other leafy greens and vegies available for harvesting. Just walk around the garden beds to see what is ready to harvest. One of the things you will see standing out, are the tall, luscious green broad bean stalks. As mentioned in the previous edition, feel free to harvest plenty of broad bean leaves (or fava bean leaves). They are very high in antioxidants, fight free radicals and have other great nutritional benefits. They are great for a quick stir-fry or in a salad. Don’t be shy with the amount you harvest, it’s very beneficial for the plant.

Gardening and watering volunteers

A lot of you have reached out to sign up to our iso gardening buddy system or watering roster! Thank you very much to you all.

We still need more volunteers, especially with soil change work coming up and with warmer weather meaning more watering. Email us at SouthbankSustainability@gmail.com to sign up for our gardening and watering roster. While gardening experience is appreciated, it’s not necessary. As a reminder, gardening and watering work falls under the exercise activity restriction.

We are all anxiously watching the easing in meeting restrictions to start our Saturday fortnightly morning meet-ups again! We will be sure to announce it on our Facebook page, so keep an eye on it to know when we can all meet and garden together again, or email us to notify you when we set the first meet-up date.

About the group: A solutions-focused group of Southbank residents working to bring positive change in sustainability practices and education to our neighbourhood, while building a wonderful community of like-minded people. 2019 Environment Melbourne Award winner •

Reach us at: southbanksustainability@gmail.com or facebook.com/SouthbankSustainabilityGroup

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