Eurobodalla Council is looking for communities to take part in a trial of vergeside gardens

Courtney Fink Downes says verge gardens can provide the community with proven social, health and environmental outcomes even some fresh veg for dinner. Photo: Supplied.
Courtney Fink Downes says verge gardens can provide the community with proven social, health and environmental outcomes even some fresh veg for dinner. Photo: Supplied.

A new vergeside garden trial is underway and Eurobodalla Council is on the hunt for keen street communities to take part and transform their nature strip into a native-plant oasis or shady roadside haven.

Council is trialling the program after regularly receiving enquiries about planting out nature strips as people were unsure what was allowed, if anything.

Council's natural resources officer Courtney Fink Downes said the pilot program would help residents improve their streetscapes and create greener neighbourhoods.

"The verge garden pilot may lead to new shire-wide guidelines for nature strip planting - providing information on what residents want to do and what they can do while keeping streets safe and infrastructure accessible," Ms Fink Downes said.

"There is so much potential in verge gardens, with proven social and health outcomes for residents, natural cooling through shading and solar absorption, increased ecological diversity, and the take up carbon from the atmosphere.

"You can still have all the parking and other functionality, it just means better aesthetics and a bit of a home for wildlife or some fresh veg for dinner."

Ms Fink Downes said there was no cost to trial participants thanks to a NSW Government Stronger Communities grant and council staff would help with design, provide plants and assist with planting.

"So chat with your neighbours about what could happen in your street - it could be fruit to grow and share, or native trees and shrubs to provide habitat for local animals, or even colourful native flowers - then express your interest," she said.

"If selected we'll work with you to ensure the concept works and organise a working bee to make your vision a reality, with plants and advice on maintenance."

For more information or to express your interest visit the council website.

This story Street-side gardens could become the norm with new pilot program first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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