About the Project

Council has awarded several contracts to carry out construction works at the Phillip Island Community Garden. This project is a result of the current Phillip Island Community and Learning Centre (PICAL) being acquired by the State Government for the expansion of the community hospital.

This project will provide a community garden for the Phillip Island community to enjoy and thrive.

The Blue Gum Reserve site will enable our local community to get it established. Once up and running, it will supply produce for the PICAL food pantry. The garden will be accessible and include a space to hold workshops and training sessions.

The garden will consist of:

  • a main shed for storage of equipment
  • Coels shed (relocated to be used for workshops)
  • tool storage shed
  • water tanks
  • garden beds (including wheelchair accessible beds)
  • accessible toilet
  • accessible carpark
  • premeter fencing (utilising recycled timber from the Cowes Jetty)
  • pergola, seating and, of course, produce.

PICAL has a strong track-record as the manager of an open-access Community Garden for the last nine years. Many components from the PICAL community garden on the Church Street site will be relocated and the garden will be leased from Council by PICAL.

A team of volunteers from their gardening club will manage it, whilst supporting community access and involvement, hence creating a true community hub.

The new garden beds, including a wheelchair accessible bed, will be constructed by the Gardening Club volunteers. A valuable contribution to this project.

The vision for the Community Garden is to provide a safe place for all of the Phillip Island community to enjoy. It will be a place to learn new skills, grow produce and be in touch with the soil. A place for mental wellbeing, quiet solitude, meditation and recreation. A place to combat loneliness, stress, depression and anxiety. A place for people of all abilities including those who live with a disability. A place for people to connect as well as re-connect with each other. A place for people to contribute to their community which enables them to grow and share.

The design will incorporate accessible features to make it inclusive and a place where anyone from the community can engage and benefit through;

  • Social connection and mental-wellbeing.
  • Physical activity and enjoyment (particularly those people who do not have their own gardens).
  • Learning plant propagation and garden-construction.
  • A sense of belonging to a safe and productive team.
  • An accessible and welcoming place for people who live with disabilities.

The Community Garden will also be part of the supply-chain of fresh-produce for PICAL’S emergency food relief/cooking program - the largest emergency food relief outlet in the South Gippsland region. In 2020 this fed almost 6,000 people!

The Blue Gum Reserve community garden will enable our local community to get it established. Once up and running, it will supply produce for Phillip Island Community and Learning Centre (PICAL) food pantry. The garden will be fully accessible and include a space to hold workshops and training sessions.

  • Appropriate traffic and pedestrian control measures will be implemented onsite during these works. This will be a construction zone and that we appreciate that for your own safety and others that access will be restricted. Our staff and contractor will keep in contact with key community user groups who may be impacted by these works. We appreciate that these works may present an inconvenience and we ask for your patience during these times. Our contractor will make every effort to minimise disruptions to recreation reserve users.
  • The use of heavy plant and machinery including noisy, and vibration works for construction, and use of trucks for removal or delivery of materials.

The total project cost is in the order of $365,343 funded by Council contribution $239,343, RSL contribution $106,000 and PICAL grant from Bendigo Bank $20,000.


March 2023

Council has been working in with the garden volunteers and are expecting the shed and accessible toilet to be installed by the end of March/early April 2023. From there, the perimeter fencing, some pathways and water tanks will be installed with an expected finishing date of May 2023.

Phillip Island Community Garden

Location and Site Plan