Connecting Communities with Landcare - Freesia Gardens Meetup

19th January 2024 | 

Amidst the tropical rains in southern Tasmania on Wednesday, we met with 14 residents of Freesia Gardens – a Centrecare Evolve Housing village - to hear their ideas for gardening and Landcare activities at the residence.

This forms part of Landcare Tasmania's 'Connecting Communities with Landcare' project which aims is to improve tenant wellbeing, connection and sense of belonging through growing food and connecting with nature.

Complete with muffins, hearty discussion, a cat called Trinket and a dog nicknamed ‘the bag lady’, this round table session was a fantastic chance to hear everyone’s ideas for this project.

From fruit trees in the communal area, to veggie plots, learning about pruning, workshops and skills-sharing on gardening and Landcare, there was a good deal of enthusiasm for the potential outcomes of this project.

Being involved in nature and gardening is well-documented for physical and mental health benefits - a great and enjoyable way to get active, social, and working towards a community-focused goal. Overall, the idea is to improve the local garden area with the residents who will be involved in growing fresh, healthy produce as well as other activities - and it's something that the participants have had input into designing.  

Some residents had been living at the establishment for just 6 months, and others, 13 years. We took a look at LISTmap to observe that land use changes over time, and everyone was interested to know that the area was previously farmland.

Image: the Freesia gardens site. Source: LISTMap


Landcare Tasmania's Cynthia Schaap, who is also facilitating this project, explained that past land-use can greatly impact your veggie and plant growth – and even the colour of your hydrangeas!

The group then went for a walk around the property to scope the site and hear peoples' ideas for specific areas of the village. 

Everyone that came along had a different perspective to bring to the project, making it a great chance to work together, think of multiple options and come up with alternatives that suit everyone. 

We are excited to see a wonderful process of community engagement as part of this project at Freesia Gardens.  Also a part of this project are Centacare tenant communities in Wynyard, Ravenswood and Claremont who we also met with this month to discuss their specific needs. 

A big thanks to everyone who came to the meeting to share ideas - this is what it's all about.  A big thanks to Elise from Centacare for supporting us during this meeting, and to Jess and Cynthia for facilitating the vibrant discussions that were had.

Landcare Tasmania is undertaking the Connecting Communities with Landcare project in partnership with Centacare Evolve Housing. The project is funded by the Department for Social Services as part of the Strong and Resilient Communities Activity - Inclusive Communities Grants.