Community gardens

Community gardens are places where people come together to grow food, create habitat and connect with nature and their local community.

If you are interested in community gardening, the best first step (even if you're thinking of starting a new garden),  is to get involved with an established community garden. 

Council's Community Gardens Policy provides the framework for Council to support community gardens.  This document can be read in conjunction with the Community Gardens Guidelines.

Inner West Community Gardens Policy (PDF 758.3KB)

Inner West Community Gardens Guidelines (PDF 6.9MB)

For more information about community gardening, contact Council’s Urban Sustainability team on 02 9392 5341 or email anne.abbott@innerwest.nsw.gov.au.

Community gardens in the Inner West

Details for the established community gardens in the Inner West can be found below.  

Urban Soil Safety

Inner West Council supports community gardening, but this is balanced with a need for community safety.   One strategy to mitigate the effects of contaminants is to only grow food in raised garden beds.

Common contaminants in the Inner West include heavy metals such as lead (usually from paints and leaded fuel use) and hydrocarbons (usually from petrols and imported soil that may contain burnt material – a very common practice in the past) among others.  What is a park now may have been a petrol station, industrial site or waste incinerator in the past.

As a precaution, assume all soil is contaminated before gardening and take appropriate measures to protect yourself, your family and other community gardeners. 

For the home gardener, the NSW government's "Stay Safe from Lingering Lead" resources include videos and fact sheets with tips on how to minimise your exposure to lead while gardening.

  • Grow food in raised garden beds with clean soil
  • Always use gloves
  • Wash your hands immediately after handling soil
  • Mulch, plant, pave or turf exposed soil
  • Test soil you plan to grow food in. Macquarie University's Vegesafe project provides free heavy metal testing and is a good first step.

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Page last updated: 12 Jul 2021