Accessible Raised Beds Project

In June this year we were successful in our application for a grant from Willoughby Council to build some raised beds making the garden more accessible. The raised beds will offer 2 ‘pods’ where gardeners can stand or wheelchair users can be seated as they work in the soil. The project incorporates wicking beds for water saving and so meets a variety of goals including access, inclusion, sustainability, social connection and healthy lifestyles.

Things got off to an unexpected start with declaration of the lockdown in Sydney in July. Not deterred by the challenge we worked around it. Blackbutt and treated pine was cut and joined in a Castlecrag carport. Local gardeners took up Covid-safe shifts with the sander and paintbrushes to smooth and weather-proof the timber.

As restrictions eased toward the end of September/early October we were able to hold small working bees to prepare the site by compacting and levelling the soil, then transporting the segments and assembling the 4 wicking beds. It has been a wonderful team effort to bring the parts together. The beds are now visibly taking shape on-site and attracting lots of interest and attention from passers-by.

We’re excited to enhance our community garden this way, making it more sustainable and inclusive into the future.

Special acknowledgement to David Carolan for his concept, time, labour and technical oversight of the project

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