Friends of Walker Park plan for community food forage forest garden

A still shot from the video about Walker Park shot by Monty Obrien. View the video below.
A still shot from the video about Walker Park shot by Monty Obrien. View the video below.

Friends of Walker Park on the Narooma Flat are moving ahead with plans to create a community food forage forest garden on the 1-acre park.

The group hopes to plant  a forest garden of perennial fruit, nut,berry, herb and native edibles and is negotiating with Eurobodalla Shire Council for approval for this project.

They are seeking input in the design stage and have arranged a meeting with council representatives at 3pm on Wednesday, November 15 at the park on McMillan Road.

The park had been mistakenly listed as one of the properties the council was going to sell but it has since been removed from the list.

A council spokesperson said Mark Upson and Steve Picton from the council would be at Walker Park on Wednesday to listen and learn about the community’s ideas for the future of the park.

Layout maps of the park will be available to see, while butcher’s paper and marker pens will be available for locals to document their ideas.

The information gathered will be shared with councillors and council staff as part of the public exhibition period and further development of the draft Recreation and Open Space Strategy.

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Friends of Walker Park member Liz Cook said it would be very appropriate to turn the park into a food garden as it was named after Mr Walker, who was a market gardener in the area.

Narooma already has a community garden at Narooma Public School but this would be a more open facility where anyone from the neighbourhood or town could come and forage food items.

Spokesperson Rob Obrien said the resounding community response opposing the possible sale of the park had brought forward a willingness to create a community “food forage forest”. 

“Planting out the park with perennial, low maintenance, fruit, nut and berries, while maintaining the open space for gatherings and play, as prescribed in the gift to the community by Mr Walker himself, seems to be the best long term upgrade for the area,” he said.

“We have been seeking support for this proposal from other existing south coast groups like the SAGE garden Moruya, SCPA ( South East Producers) , Narooma community garden members, the local kids and residents of the local area.”  

The group is preparing a submission to the council, who requested the informal meeting, which will now take place on Wednesday.

“They are also aware that this project is supported by local councillors who have insisted that extra time be given to get this submission before the committee reviewing open space and parkland within the shire which is still on view at the library and council offices and online,” he said..

Mr Obrien thanked councillors Phil Constable and Lindsay Brown for their assistance so far.

“It is not necessary for everyone to be there and the council is aware that we received over 100 signatures and expressions of interest within 48 hours,” he said. 

“Please come next Wednesday if you are free and would like to meet others who are keen to keep this park working. Bring some snacks and soft drinks and your frisbee and soccer ball. We will be there till 6pm .

“If you have skills you can contribute to preparing the submission and ongoing planning please come forward with your support asap before Wednesday.”

Below is a video of the park and some scenes from the existing community garden at the Narooma Public School.