Leonard Wall Valley Street Reserve

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Tuesday 9th January 2007

MEDIA RELEASE

COMMUNITY ORCHARD TO BE DEVELOPED ON LEONARD WALL VALLEY STREET RESERVE

As part of the Landscape Plan for the Leonard Wall Valley Street Reserve off Mellifont Street in West Hobart, the Hobart City Council has agreed to the development of a community orchard.

The original Plan was subject to extensive public consultation that was supportive of the proposal.

The Acting Lord Mayor Alderman Eva Ruzicka said the development of the Reserve would occur in three stages with Stage 1 works to be undertaken this financial year. This would involve the construction of the walking track linking the Mellifont Street and Mount Stuart Road entrances, earthworks, hard paving, furniture, water supply and retaining walls.

“The Landscape plan identified an area at the eastern end of the Reserve for a community garden-small scale agricultural site and following an Expressions of Interest process the Council received a proposal from local resident and Bushcare group convenor, Simon Clarkson on behalf of a number of residents.”

“This group known as the ‘Valley Street Community Orchard Group’ has the support of 35 volunteers, mainly local residents who are very keen to develop a community orchard on the site,” said Alderman Ruzicka.

“So keen were they to demonstrate their support, and in anticipation of being granted approval, the group applied for and received a $5,000 Open Garden Scheme grant for the project. This was the only grant awarded in Tasmania.”

Simon Clarkson says his group has been involved with the land for more than three years. “When the Council called for Expressions of Interest, the Valley Street Reserve Group submitted a proposal to manage the area as a community orchard, featuring heritage apple and pear varieties with the addition of some nut trees.”

“In discussions with long time Woodbridge Horticulturist Bob Magnus who has offered his technical expertise, it emerged that the Reserve together with large parts of Mt Stuart and Lenah Valley were the site of the earliest orchards in Hobart Town, providing fruit for the early settlers.”

“It is the view of the Valley Street Community Orchard Group that re-establishing a small orchard on the site would offer the community a living link with our colonial heritage.”

“The apple industry is one of Tasmania’s iconic success stories, and here we have the opportunity to create an orchard in miniature for urban enthusiasts to tend and enjoy,” Mr Clarkson said.

The Acting Lord Mayor said the community would have further opportunity to formally comment on the proposal through the planning assessment process.

For further information contact:
Alderman Eva Ruzicka-Acting Lord Mayor
Ph 0407 391 317

Or Simon Clarkson- Convenor
Valley Street Community Orchard Group
Ph 6234 5176

01/07

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