Turning a seed of an idea into a whole garden with Hume Enviro Champs
Published on 30 November 2023
Becoming a champion in a chosen field can take a great amount of dedication, training and skill.
To become a champion in Hume you just need an idea...or not...and Council will help with the rest.
The Hume City Council Enviro Champs program has had another successful year in 2023, most recently seeing the launch of a Children’s Garden at the Sunbury Community Garden on 18 November.
The successful launch filled with planting, kids activities and family fun wouldn’t have been possible without Angela Cook-Lee, a graduate of the Enviro Champs program in 2023.
The program was created by Council to develop, implement and evaluate environmental projects in the community.
Angela completed the free 10-session course after coming on board at the start of the year as a member of the Sunbury Community Garden who was looking to re-start the Children’s Garden.
All Angela needed was the will to be involved; the know-how, tools and other supports would be provided.
“It was suggested I get the garden going through the Hume Enviro Champs Program.
“So I went into it with what I wanted to achieve, and I found it super helpful in terms of giving me ideas on how things actually worked (to get a garden project together), and what the process is,” Angela says.
At a time where we’re told we can all make a difference, Angela said making that a reality still requires the knowledge of how to have it all run smoothly.
“There was more to (creating the garden) than I had realised and so getting a lot of support and advice on how to make it work and how to get it out to the community – Council and the Hume Enviro Champs Program gave us a lot of support with that.”
Along with the support and information from idea to launch, another useful take-away for Angela was access to some start-up money as seed funding for her idea.
The result is The Little Ladybirds - Kids Gardening Club, operating on the first and third Sundays of the month at Sunbury Community Garden and it is free to all to come along.
Angela is proud that her vision was able to be realised with Enviro Champs’ support.
"I believe strongly in kids getting out, learning to grow food, healthy eating, knowing where food comes from,” she says, and was able to funnel this energy into the Enviro Champs program.
She recommends anyone else with even the smallest thoughts about the environment or sustainability should consider getting involved.
“You can just want to be involved with no idea, or you can jump on someone else’s idea, and you will get support for the rest,” she says.
“I think (you just need) an interest in sustainability, helping protect the earth and wanting to do the right thing.”
As for the future of the kids’ garden in Sunbury, Angela adds the program has given them the ability to see their projects into the future.
“Money is the next thing we need. We have enthusiasm, but we need resources and things for the kids to be able to do.
“This will come from funding from grants; through Hume City Council I attended a grant writing workshop and the Enviro Champs Program also provided us with this knowledge.
And finally, her advice to others looking to join:
“Absolutely, I think it’s well worth it.
"Even if you don’t have an idea, but want to get involved somehow, there are others there to support you to team up with them and make a difference that way.”