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What is a community garden?

A very simple definition of a community garden is a shared space that is used to grow things to eat. There are many, many models for community gardens around Australia and the world. They are each designed with their own community in mind and vary in many ways.

A community garden isn't just a garden. It is a healthy place to build community and we see it as a great way to get to know our neighbours and learn and grow together. It is as much about the people as it is about the garden. 


Altona Community Gardens is designed with our community in mind and this is what we are:

  • Supported by Hobsons Bay City Council. They lease the land to Altona Community Gardens and have set-up the site with basic infrastructure like fences and paths and water all in accordance with council laws. We run the whole thing inside the fence-line. 

  • Membership based. That means that to use the garden you need to be a financial member. That covers everything from insurance to building funds to tools and maintenance to running all the technology and the wonderful garden events. You can find out more about membership here.

  • Incorporated. We have a small committee that does all the behind the scenes work and set-up of the garden activities. We are dependent on the skills and interests of passionate members to help grow the garden. Being part of the committee or a subcommittee is another way you as a member can share your skills in the community.

  • Open. The garden is a public space just like a sports ground. That means anyone can visit but you can't do whatever you want. Visitors are invited to enjoy the space but not to take anything that is not theirs. The garden is not locked but there is a gate that is kept closed.

  • Mixed shared and personal garden beds. There are two types of beds in the garden:

    • Shared - north of the path and in the borders. Any member can get involved in communal activities in these beds when they are built. These will be planned spaces that you as a member can help set-up and look after and share in the bounty! 

    • Personal -  south of the path. This area includes composting bays.The 1.2x1.2m beds are available to members to rent each year to grow their own food. To have a plot, you must be a member of the garden and pay an additional plot fee each year. Find out more on the membership page. 

Find out more about the benefits of a community garden and membership.

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