Work will start next week on pegging out the site and preparing the promontory at the north east corner of Mansfield’s Botanic Park for the 2600 square metre Gadhaba Edible Medicinal Garden.
Mansfield Mayor, Cr Marg Attley OAM said the preparation included initial weed spraying for the proposed garden beds later this month and next, prior to planting.
“It’s exciting to see this project get started. After planting, paths, landscaping and signage will be installed before the garden opens mid next year,” she said.
The Gadhaba Local Aboriginal Network (GLAN) first approached Council in 2017 about establishing an edible and medicinal indigenous garden at the Botanic Park.
“A project working group consisting of GLAN members and Council staff was established to further develop the concept. Funding of $62,000 was received from the Department of Health and Human Services, Korin Korin Balit-Djak fund,” Cr Attley said.
“In recognition and acknowledgement of the Yowung illam balluk clan of theTaungurung people, the Traditional Owners of the land where Mansfield is located, the garden will provide an educational and cultural experience for all to enjoy. It will showcase the significance of local Indigenous plants used for food, medicinal and fibre purposes.
Cr Attley said the garden also has the potential to broaden understanding of the culture and knowledge of the Taungurung people in this area and foster reconciliation by bringing both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together in a beautiful surrounding.
“The garden can also be used by local and surrounding schools, where Aboriginal culture, customs, beliefs, and their intimate knowledge of the natural resources forms part of the school curriculum or units of study,” she said.
“Both local and international visitors are interested in and appreciate indigenous and native plant species and the garden will also contribute to protecting and promoting the biodiversity of our native flora.”
When complete, the garden will feature interpretive signage with QR codes, a barcode that can be scanned by a mobile phone and will link people to a page on the Taungurung website for more detailed information about the plants. These offer visitors a rich, on-line experience via mobile phone or tablet for self-guided tours.