Saving the Gardens

Saving the Gardens

Advocacy

Documenting the 20 year history of the community gardens in Waterloo Estate to save them from demolition.

Waterloo Residents Market Gardens Incorporated

The Waterloo Community Gardens, Solander, Marton & Cook Gardens, were proposed and established by the residents of Waterloo Public Housing Estate in 1995. The gardens have been maintained and expanded by the residents over the last 25 years as the Waterloo Residents Market Gardens Incorporated. They hold significant historic and social significance to the Waterloo community.Now, with Waterloo Estate is facing complete demolition and reconstruction, these three gardens face a very serious threat of erasure from history.

  • We were asked by WRMGI to conduct document the history, design, and impact of the gardens on the community in an effort to advocate for their retention into the future after the redevelopment. Our support included:
  • Organising a site visit to take measurements and photos of the gardens with residents and external volunteers.
  • Measuring and documenting the plans of the gardens.
  • Researching the history of the gardens told through written records and stories told by the residents.
  • Compiling our findings into a report advocating for the gardens to be saved from demolition and retained through the redevelopment. This was then submitted to the State government.

With the support and advocacy efforts of Waterloo Public Housing Action Group, the topic of community gardens were front and center throughout the official visioning and consultation process. The desire for and retention of the community gardens were reflected in all official documents including the Vision Report, Options Booklet, and Options Testing documents.The three options for the redevelopment plans tested with the community included provisions for community gardens and rooftop gardens.In 2020, the Waterloo Estate Redevelopment Plans were subdivided into three regions, Waterloo South, Waterloo Central, and Waterloo North. The community gardens fell in the Waterloo North region and will be redeveloped last, with detailed plans yet to be released by the State government.Presently, the gardens are still operational and enjoyed by the residents.