500 signatures reached
To: The Mayor and Councillors of Central Coast Council
Central Coast Council: Allow verge gardens in residential areas
We, the undersigned, respectfully request the members of Central Coast Council to permit residents to utilise the nature strip directly outside their property for the purpose of creating garden beds for the benefit and use of the local community.
We request Central Coast Council members to revise those sections of General Local Law that apply to nature strip planting, so that it becomes possible for residents to plant ornamental, native or edible plants on their nature strip with no permit requirements.
We refer to Council's Guidelines for Business Use of Public Footpath Policy A5.09 and acknowledge that Council were able to implement policy guidelines which have proven effective by drawing upon research previously undertaken by various other councils. As it has been deemed safe to install permanent and temporary structures in footpaths within Gosford City, it must then stand to reason that it should be acceptable to install garden beds along footpaths in a safe and purposeful manner.
We call upon Central Coast Council to utilise the research previously undertaken by neighbouring Councils such as the City of Sydney, and to implement new policy in regard to residents' use of the nature strip, as per guidelines in the following links to enable residents of Central Coast Shire to install verge gardens where appropriate.
Why is this important?
Function 1: Provision of environmental services
Like any ecosystem, verge gardens provide the environmental services commonly associated with plants:
Filtration of air, Reduction in the urban heat island effect that raises neighbourhood air temperature in summer, Slowing of rainfall runoff and assisting it infiltrate as soil water rather than be lost to the stormwater drain, thus obtaining a use from it before it returns to the water cycle, Provision of habitat for insects, birds and small reptiles, Carbon sequestration in organically-rich soils.
Function 2: Making productive use of urban land
Kerbside gardening makes productive use of land in urban areas. It puts to practical use small patches of land that are otherwise neglected or planted to simplified plant communities—such as lawn verges—that are unproductive or that may consume excessive water and fossil fuels in their maintenance. Verge gardens offer Council a solution to reducing their carbon footprint in line with Environmental Policy.
Function 3: Boosting biodiversity
As mixed edible plantings, verge gardens attract insects and other small animal species that interact through food webs. This is the basis of their biodiversity value. Flowering species attract bees, providing habitat for pollinators in residential areas.
Function 4: New ways to engage with public space
Taking responsibility for a kerbside garden provides a new means for people to engage with public space. In this sense, shared gardens enhance community engagement with public lands and encourages members of our community to take a more proactive role in public space management.