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My name is Emma Cutting and I am Founder of The Heart Gardening Project (THGP), a community initiative joyfully connecting humans to humans, humans to nature and nature to nature through street gardening. For more info visit our website and Instagram.
Your donation will help us continue to build the Melbourne Pollinator Corridor, the first of its kind in Australia (and possibly the world).
When finished, the Melbourne Pollinator Corridor will be an 8km community-led and -maintained urban wildlife corridor for native bees and other pollinating insects linking the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne to Westgate Park. It will be made up of 200 indigenous-focussed gardens and 18,000 plants and will be helping our community, biodiversity and environment through bringing pieces of public and private land to life. The MPC has been designed within local council contraints and with the generous input of over 20 scientists and specialists.
These are gardens for everyone! They are for people of all socio-economic backgrounds, cultures and ages. These are gardens that engage people in their own way at their own pace. These are gardens that spark conversation, joy and action. These are gardens for our pollinating insects who are vital for our precious ecosystems and food security. These are gardens for our indigenous plants that are an integral part of our land’s history and First Nations culture.
Now you have an opportunity to help us continue to bring the Melbourne Pollinator Corridor to life!
We have spent 2 years in design and set up and are now in the creation phase – woohoo! We have already created 10 gardens covering over 480 square metres (on what was barren public land) and have another 4 sites going. Your help is absolutely needed to keep this corridor rolling out!
In addition to building the MPC, your donation will also create momentum to speed up completion of this project and a proof of concept and precedent from which we at The Heart Gardening Project can learn and grow and then help others take positive action to help their urban biodiversity.
Everyone who donates will not only get a reward but will also have the chance to go into draws to win awesome vouchers as we hit $ targets e.g. $5,000, $10,000. The earlier you donate in the campaign the more chances you have to win!
For more details on the campaign scroll down…
Thank you so much for your help,
Love Emma and THGP crew
The Melbourne Pollinator Corridor (MPC) will be an 8km community-led and -maintained wildlife corridor linking 2 large green patches along the Birrarung (Yarra River), the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne to Westgate Park (both organisations are foundational partners of The Heart Gardening Project) . It will be created across 4 highly urbanised suburbs and has been designed for our native pollinating insects, conservatively within local government constaints and with the help of over 20 scientists and specialists. It will be mainly on public land and we are aiming for 200 gardens and 18,000 indigenous plants in the ground by the end of 2024. The power of one street garden is immense – with 200, we can create a truckload of positive change and create a first in Australia…..and perhaps even the world!
(below is the map of the MPC- the green lines make up the MPC zone where the 200 gardens are to go, the yellow circles are gardens already created and the blue circles are sites ready to go)
After 2 years of designing and setting up the Melbourne Pollinator Corridor, we are now in the creation stage! Your donation will kickstart this crucial part of the MPC. With your help, we will be able to:
– Create another 28 gardens– Plant 6,400 indigenous plants– Carry out 2 years of maintenance (all garden material costs and some staffing)– Consult with First Nations– Complete biodiversity reports
The Melbourne Pollinator Corridor will increase and strengthen our local flora and fauna, deepen community, improve mental and physical health within our community, connect humans to nature again, make our city more beautiful and joyful and help fight climate change through addressing environmental challenges such as the heat island effect, water retention issues and wind tunnels. Your donation will get this going!
(Below: a blue banded bee roosting in one of our MPC gardens- it took 6 years to get these special critters here and every MPC garden we create is creating more habitat for them which in turn means we are helping them to be stronger genetically)
We know that street gardening begets street gardening so your contribution will not only help to create these gardens but will bring immense momentum to the project. In addition to helping with the creation of the project, you will also be helping with the creation of a precendent. An initiative like this does not exist in Australia – and I haven’t found this model anywhere in the world either – so we are aiming to grow and learn through this project’s journey to then help other communities take positive action to help their urban biodiversty.
(Below: some of our wonderful volunteers Zoe, Kym and Grace who help with our regular gardening sessions to maintain the gardens)
The $90,000 total will be broken up into 4 hubs of $22,500.
Each hub is made up of 7 gardens – 1 larger garden and 6 ‘satellite’ gardens between 50-150m away from it.
The breakdown of each hub is as follows:
$3200 – 1600 indigenous plants (which we get wholesale from the local indigenous nursery)
$1250 – First Nations consultation
$500 – biodiversity report
$500 – marketing
$1500 – 2 years of garden maintenance (this is all materials including mulch, plants, and soil improvers such as biochar, compost, cow poo etc)
$15,500 – some staffing costs that go towards a Project Manager and General Admin person to make this sustainable
(Below: before and after pics of an MPC garden created in the carpark of a local business)
This ‘hub’ approach has been developed from years of working with communities, the creation of 10 MPC gardens and the 70+ other street gardens we have helped to create. The idea behind each hub is that we are strengthening one micro-community in order to strengthen the larger community. The biodiversity reports and First Nations consultations are crucial to understanding and measuring these sites on a much deeper level and creating long-lasting change.
No. It is very important that locals are involved and invested in their gardens. However we really want to help! THGP will provide a Corridor Starter Kit for every keen local (our beautiful handbook Melbourne Pollinator Corridor Handbook, Seasol, dog poo bags and a 30 min on-site consultation) and access to our community tool kit. Through this crowdfund we will be able to provide subsidies to keen locals for plants, 2 years of maintenance materials and additional expertise and labour.
The Heart Gardening Project, The Heart Gardening Project volunteers and keen locals! THGP will be organising everyone on the creation and maintenance of every garden. THGP has so far helped to create over 70 street gardens, has worked with hundreds of locals and talked to thousands of people about street gardening! Emma Cutting, Founder of The Heart Gardening Project, has written a book on street gardening, gardening for native bees and gardening for biodiversity that has been been very well received across Australia by specialists and beginners alike.
(Below: 3 spreads from Emma’s book)
It doesn’t stop us building the MPC with what money we have! We will build as much of the MPC as we can with your help. If it’s 1 garden, 1 hub or 28 gardens, we will use your money to create street gardens for our native bees! We have aimed for 90K because NOW is the time for community to stand up and aim big- we can create positive change together!
No. The MPC (and THGP!) has been designed to ‘flow like water’ around obstacles. And though I never thought a council would be so regressive, it has been designed to not be reliant on council. There are so many different types of public land in the MPC zone that have nothing to do with council so we focus on those.
Many thanks for your help and much love,
Emma and THGP crew (on behalf of our beautiful local biodiversity)
Hello Wonderful People!
Emma here from The Heart Gardening Project! I wanted to say a huge huge thank you- after the first 10 days of our campaign to build another large chunk of the Melbourne Polliantor Corridor we are almost at $20,000!! How tremendous is that???
We have almost made it to $22,500 which is when we have enough for our first hub - a group of 7 gardens: 1 large garden and 6 smaller 'satellite' gardens complete with 2 years of maintenance, biodiversity reports and First Nations consultations.
You have already done so much already but if you can share the campaign, tell your crew at work, and/or let you family know about the campaign that would be incredible!
By the way, we are drawing over 20 awesome prizes over the coming weeks and EVERYONE who donates goes into the draw. This happens on our Instagram @theheartgardeningproject but I will of course contact people individually if they have won.
Thank you so much again and have a great day!