Johnstone River Community Gardens is located on two and a half acres of land behind the Innisfail SES complex and has recently celebrated ten years of “Growing Food, Nourishing Community”. In 2009 a group of Innisfail locals held their first meeting to discuss starting a Community Garden and within 6 months had established a plan, signed a contract to lease a parcel of land from the TAFE and sat there looking at a blank piece of land – sort of. The land was covered in guinea grass and had 5 lychee trees. The clearing and tree planting began, vegetable gardens were built, BBQ facilities were basic, community groups came in and helped with paving, sheds and lots of recycled material. On Sunday 6th June 2010 the opening ceremony was held and the Gardens’ Patron Connie Symmons cut the yellow ribbon.
Fast forward to 2020 and the Johnstone River Community Garden is a lush, tropical oasis where people come together to grow fruit and vegetables, socialise and enjoy this beautiful space right here in Innisfail. The Garden now boasts a large paved (soon to be completely undercover) BBQ area with seating for dozens, a stage and grass area, childrens play area, market garden, and 20 private allotments for personal vegetable growing.
The activities at the Garden include school groups visiting for education and community work, regular monthly picnics supporting local organisations with themes such as Breast Cancer Awareness, NAIDOC celebrations, Clean Up Australia Day Activities and Permaculture Picnics.
If you haven’t already been for a walk through the gardens, attended a picnic or joined in the GET ACTIVE PROGRAM on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, please come for a visit and a look around.