May 022019
 

BAAG is not in the clear yet. The next stage of the North East Link planning process, the Environmental Effects Statement is out now and BAAG is still within the designated project area! BAAG is one of around 80 small, local businesses, which range from pie makers to mechanics, included in the “construction compound” for the Manningham Road interchange.

We really want to continue here, so we need to convince the EES panel that it is worth redesigning the construction compound so that we can stay and continue bringing you interesting art, exhibitions as well as garden necessities and advice.

How Can you help us?

EES Submission – Due before 5pm Friday 6th June

Even a couple of lines of support will help

You can make your own submission to the EES about BAAG, or other aspects of NE Link which concern you. Make your submission at https://engage.vic.gov.au/north-east-link-project

You can find out more about the EES at https://northeastlink.vic.gov.au/environment/environment-effects-statement-ees, although you may not get through the whole 10,000 page document!

Some of the arguments we will be putting forward are:

BAAG is a community asset which is unique and is worth keeping because:

• We encourage sustainable living, starting with the garden. Through staff advice, stock selection, sustainable living and gardening classes, art workshops and free talks, web site and newsletters.
• Wide range of unusual and food plants
• Art – a much needed venue for local artists to exhibit their art and for the community to view art
• Community is very important to BAAG, with activities on and off site and supporting our community
• Role as a local business – Employment opportunities. Over 700 suppliers, including artists and backyard businesses rely on BAAG for income. Recommendations of quality gardeners.
• Revegetation work in the parks

It should be possible to exclude BAAG from the project footprint because it is on flood prone land adjacent to the Yarra River and is right at the edge of the proposed works area.

Appropriate measures which ensured adequate access, parking and amenity would need to be undertaken for BAAG to continue to operate during construction.

Why BAAG matters!

We have been operating from 6 Manningham Rd West in Bulleen for the past 50 years, and under the current family ownership for over 35 years. BAAG is proudly an integral part of the local community and our approach is driven by a continued commitment to nurturing creativity and community. BAAG inspires, enables and educates our community to live in a more environmentally sustainable way.

BAAG is a 50 year old layer cake of art and gardening. We just celebrated our 50th birthday, and have been owned and operated by the same family for the past 35 years! We are a stable and viable business that provides employment and significant additional economic benefits to the area. BAAG employs 40 to 50 staff, and most live locally. We also provide the opportunity for over 775 businesses (many of them small businesses like artists and small plant growers) to enter the market with their products.

Our combination of a focus on sustainable living, gardening and art is unique in this region and complements the collective local offer of businesses and organisations and the overall experience in our region.

BAAG

• is a hub for local artists and keen gardeners
• has over 25 permanent art installations that would be lost or damaged if we had to move
• runs monthly community vegie swaps
• supports the not-for-profit Sustainable Gardening Australia
• Supports countless schools and community groups
• Provides our community with education and resources for sustainable living
• Works with local groups and Parks Victoria to protect our parklands

• Serves our local community with colour and a smile, there is no-one else quite like BAAG


BAAG’s approach is driven by a continued commitment to nurturing creativity and community. BAAG inspires, enables and educates our communities to live in a more environmentally sustainably way.

We promote the arts, tourism, environment and connected communities and we have invested what is for us a significant amount of time, money and passion into BAAG; both recently and over the past 35 years. BAAG needs access to and connection with our community to survive. The local area will continue to benefit enormously by protecting the amenity and ambiance of the BAAG site with its direct connections to the Yarra parklands, Valley of the Arts and the people of Manningham.

BAAG has evolved over several decades to its current iteration, which provides a range of environmental, arts and community benefits. This has been possible due to our extensive local community networks, trusted identity, experience, expertise, management systems, stability, infrastructure and an ability and commitment to work with the local community. Some features relevant to our local community are detailed below.

Community

BAAG is deeply embedded in and interdependent within our community. We have operated from the one site for 50 years and have created community, and sustainable gardening and living leadership that is locally relevant. We provide continued support though sponsorships, donations, advice and talks.

BAAG is regularly involved in on and off-site community activities and events, providing workshops for local festivals and giving talks to local groups. We have taken part in a number of City of Manningham initiatives such as Spring Outdoors, Heritage Week, Manningham festival, Fair Trade Group and Healthy Living Week.

BAAG,its directors and its CEO are, or have been actively involved in, many community groups such as SGA, Friends of the Yarra Valley Parks (FYVP), Manningham Tourism Advisory Group, Food Connect, SGA Pods and Friends of Little Bolin Park care group. We support a number of care-giving organisations including the Kevin Heinz Garden Centre, NEAMI and Austin Health.

The Arts

BAAG has over the years developed an increasing emphasis on the arts and creativity. We are passionate about nurturing creativity in the arts and in the garden and have developed an approach to complement other arts attractions in the area.

The BAAG site is a continually evolving series of artworks celebrating the work of local artists. They include the frontage, which is a collaboration of 8 local artists that stretches for over 100 metres.

The New Bolin Bolin Gallery which opened in 2015 gives an exhibition quality contemporary art space, suitable for solo and group exhibitions. This follows 20 years of exhibition experience with the gallery in another location.

Our new Sculpture Garden encourages the community to bring some creativity into their gardens

Art workshops have enabled well over 1,000 people from throughout Melbourne to discover their own creative potential.

Opportunities provided by BAAG for local people to sell and exhibit their work have initiated and supported many art careers.

Tourism

BAAG is an entertaining and continually evolving community destination with people travelling considerable distances to see and experience BAAG because of its arts identity, home food production reputation or garden and art classes. Attractions such as the many permanent artworks such as the vibrant facade and murals, the Bolin Bolin Art gallery, Sculpture Garden and sustainable and produce display gardens such as the Edible Alley are all drawcards and, of course, people travel to BAAG from all over the state given our reputation for having one of the best ranges of plants around.

Gardening Sustainably

BAAG is a passionate supporter of Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA) www.sgaonline.org.au an independent not-for-profit, non-government organisation, established in 2003, helping to establish SGA, with funding and providing rent free premises

BAAG is trusted by mainstream gardeners in local communities. It’s education programs and committed and knowledgeable staff present environmental options and a powerful message in a non- judgemental and tempting way. We demonstrate that sustainable living is fulfilling and fun.

BAAG is contributing to minimizing the impacts of climate change Our sustainable gardening and living programs focus on reducing our own and our community’s footprint by encouraging people to reduce resource use, protect and love biodiversity and to grow their own food.

BAAG is nationally recognized via the garden industry peak body’s environmental awards as a trailblazer in the garden industry in environment and sustainable lifestyles .

Food security, neighbourhood food production and healthy lifestyles

BAAG is recognised throughout Melbourne for providing support and encouragement to people who produce and share food.

We stock arguably the best range of food-producing plants in Melbourne, having spent years building the infrastructure, information, processes and systems.

Our sustainable gardening classes, our website and monthly newsletters place a heavy emphasis on edible gardening which meets a community demand.

We have run a community food swap at BAAG since 2009

Work in the Parks

BAAG has collaborated with Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water and the local community in the revegetation of the parklands adjacent to the site for over 15 years, actively working on the re-vegetation of the Little Bolin billabong and White Flats, 10 acres of Parks Victoria parkland adjoining BAAG.

The long term revegetation process has built our expertise in habitat gardening and use of indigenous plants .

BAAG has implemented two significant projects which improve Yarra river water quality.

BAAG contributes directly, and through collaboration with the City of Manningham, Heide and Parks Victoria, to the development of identity of the Bolin Bolin precinct.

If you haven’t already done so, please help us by signing this petition and spreading the word to your friends and families. The petition is calling on the North East Link Authority to alter the proposed road’s path to ensure it does not impact BAAG.

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