Community Garden representative Noeleen Warman
Community Garden representative Noeleen Warman
25 May 2015

The hard work and creativity of a keen group of University of Queensland students have seen an idea bloom into the successful creation of the UQ Gatton Community Garden.

The UQ garden, which opens tomorrow, is nearly a hectare in size and includes thirty-eight garden beds for students and staff to grow their own herbs and vegetables.

The UQ Plant Science Society created the garden, which includes a soil pit, outdoor seating and a covered deck that can be used as a versatile classroom.  

Community Garden representative Noeleen Warman is impressed at how the project has grown since the initial idea was discussed, as are other members of the UQ Plant Science Society.

“The Campus Director, Janelle Zahmel suggested it to us after she had seen a wonderful example of a Community Garden operating at a University in America,” Ms Warman said.

“The horticulture students jumped at the opportunity and set about raising interest to support the Community Garden.

“The project grew much larger than what we had envisioned.

“The end result has been two years in the making. This is the third year and we have started planting and are already beginning to harvest our first lot of plants.”

The UQ Gatton Community Garden also provides a place for meeting new people and discovering new skills. 

“It’s not just horticulture students using the garden,” Ms Warman said.

“There are students studying veterinary science, agribusiness, equine and wildlife science who are all getting involved and getting to know each other.”    

Campus Director Janelle Zahmel is very pleased with the outcome and said the Community Garden would also be used to build on what students are learning in the classroom.

“We have a fenced off area for the School of Veterinary Science to grow plants that are poisonous to animals, assisting the veterinary students to be able to identify these plants,” Ms Zahmel said.

“The Community Garden will also provide a living laboratory for our School of Agriculture and Food Sciences students as they will be able to look at crop management, insects and diseases as they are occurring in a real life garden.

“Students can practice soil science through a dedicated soil pit.” 

The UQ Gatton Campus Community Garden is positioned next to the recently established Resource Recovery Centre with the objective to easily incorporate recycling and re-use of waste materials into the garden.

The next stage of the project will involve the planting of exotic trees, fruit and nut trees, native bush tucker foods and establishing worm farms and on-site composting.

The project has been led by The UQ Plant Science Society with the support of Property and Facilities (UQ Sustainability) and the Office of the Director, Gatton Campus. The concept plan for the garden was developed by All You Can Eat Gardens. 

Event details for the UQ Gatton Community Garden Opening and Tree Planting:

Where: Corner of Director's Lane and Galletly Road and parking is available opposite Riddell Hall. See the map for further details.

When: Tuesday 26 May, 2015. 10am – 12pm. Opening at 11am and cake cutting at 11.25am.

Photo opportunity: Tree planting and cutting of a cake that looks like a garden bed.

Media: UQ Gatton Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator, Erin Pearl 0409 265 587,