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Old 18-10-2006, 02:03 PM posted to aus.gardens,alt.permaculture
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Default FW: Save the UNSW Ecoliving Permaculture Garden Campaign

Dear Permaculture Friends,

We are writing to ask for your support in the campaign to save the University
of New South Wales*Permaculture Garden.

The Department of Facilities at UNSW recently informed the volunteers who
manage the garden that the site is about to be closed to students, staff and
the wider community. The move is part of a restructuring at UNSW that will see
the Ecoliving Centre relocated (minus the garden) to another part of the
campus. Facilities are reportedly concerned about volunteers remaining in the
garden without a continued presence*in the*Ecoliving house. This is*despite
the fact that the garden has*been entirely managed by volunteers throughout
its 11 year history*- the first several years of which predated the arrival of
Ecoliving.

The new plan for the site*is to 'landscape'*it for use by the childcare centre
next door. While the childcare centre has expressed an interest in the
environmental education potential of the site, they plan to remove 'high
maintenance plants' and to build a fence around the site (the garden has
always prided itself on being open access). The childcare centre has so far
refused requests for continued access by students, staff and the community in
the garden due to concerns about public liability.

We*believe*a solution can be found*that would not only ensure optimisation of
the garden as an educational resource for children at the childcare centre,
but that would also preserve the educational, research and recreational
potential of the site for UNSW staff, students and the wider community. We
propose a model in which the garden would be managed by a voluntary body (
e.g. a voluntary association) whose membership would pay for insurance and
which would be overseen by a steering committee comprised of University staff.
We are also offering a professional built environment design that would keep
the garden safe for supervised children without compromising its integrity as
a student/staff research and educational site and as a model of urban food
production.

We are in the process of approaching UNSW staff to invite them to serve on the
garden steering committee and to raise awareness of the University's plans for
the site which have so far been conducted in secrecy.

Please help us bring the value of the garden to the attention of UNSW decision
makers by signing the attached petition. Or write to the Director of UNSW
Facilities, Alan Egan ), and the Deputy Vice
Chancellor (Academic), Prof Richard Henry ),
to express your concern at the University's plans to close the garden.

Please also disseminate this email as widely as you can.

Many thanks!

Tim Luckett & Gour Sen (Ecoliving Garden Team)
Mary O'Connell (Arts in the Garden Team)
Kristina Warton & Tamara Rouse (Chicken Team)
Julian Craig (UNSW Student Gardening Club)

end forward


They don't seem to have the petition online yet, but I will keep you posted.

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"Parenthood is like the modern stone washing process for denim jeans. You may
start out crisp, neat and tough, but you end up pale, limp and wrinkled."
Kerry Cue

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