Landcare Community Engagement in Western NSW

Landcare and community gardens in the Far West

Landcare Community Engagement in Western NSW

Landcare and community gardens in the Far West

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

As a sparsely populated region of NSW with unreliable rainfall, an increasing number of hot days, and reliance on stores for fresh fruits and vegetables, food security can be an issue, especially in remote rural towns. By definition, food security is established when people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Having access and availability to such resources or opportunities can prove to be a challenge in rural towns where the population is dwarfed by bigger cities.

The solution

Introducing gardens to schools and communities can help tackle several problems potentially faced in rural towns. School and community gardens in rural towns play an important role in addressing a multitude of issues, including food security, nutrition, education, sense of ownership, community, and the protection of our soils as a valuable natural resource.

The impact

Garden competitions and group memberships are examples of being able to share your story and a sense of ownership. One example in Western NSW is a Landcare group's initiative to have a shared garden space at a community centre to bring together like-minded individuals, share knowledge and create engagement within the space. This group also hosts the town’s garden competition.


School and community gardens have helped to bring people with like-minded interests together. Early education helps to provide context for understanding seasonality and life cycles while giving people the opportunity to work cooperatively on real tasks. Many schools have expressed interest in using gardening activities to incorporate other learning opportunities such as cultural diversity, Aboriginal uses, sustainability issues, plant identification, creating worm farms, habitats of native fauna, and history into their education programs. Going beyond the focus on the intrinsic health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables in diets, a school in Broken Hill has also made the case about how a diet of fresh vegetables can reduce the absorption of lead in the body.

Key facts

  • A co-operative approach towards a combined interest is the best way to achieve common goals.
  • Providing education and establishing interest and opportunity from an early age helps to encourage generational involvement and understanding of community gardens.
  • Landcare understands that NRM and sustainable agricultural practices can be applied by all ages and that the longevity of sustainable practices relies on the younger generation.