THE Breamlea Community Garden is one of 104 recipients to share in $425,057 in grants in the latest round of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Small Grants for Rural Communities (SGRC) program.
The garden, established in 2014, will use its $1,339 grant in a “compost connections” project to increase community participation and wellbeing through an upgrade of equipment at the garden.
FRRR chief executive officer Natalie Egleton said the flexibility of the SGRC program was a big drawcard for community groups.
“This round, we received requests for lawn mowers, silo art, historical record preservation, website production, shading for playgrounds, volunteer training, a rainwater tank, a street festival and the list goes on. All things that are important to creating vibrant places where people want to live and work.”
FRRR grant recipients stretch from Koumala in Queensland, to Clarence Town in NSW, Yankalilla in South Australia, Parkham in Tasmania and Buckley Swamp in Victoria.
Nearly two-thirds of the grants will go towards infrastructure and equipment to drive locally-led change and improvements.
A large number of requests came from community owned and managed meeting places such as community halls, recreation reserves and playgrounds.
Ms Egleton said most requests were seeking support to update kitchens and bathrooms, to improve comfort levels for volunteers and users of the facilities.
“Public spaces are integral to creating a sense of community in rural locations, but their maintenance is a constant challenge. Facilities such as halls, toilets and parks are increasingly being managed by local volunteer committees and this program provides significant support for the upkeep and improvements needed to attract locals and tourists.”
She said the grants were small but were often catalytic.
“FRRR knows from experience that on average, community groups will leverage these grants at least three times, to attract other financial or in-kind support. So, while the grants are small, they will really make a difference.”
Applications for the 34th round of Small Grants for Rural Communities will open on August 13. For more information, head to frr.org.au.