We really want to continue to operate on this site, supporting local artists and as a hub for our local community. We need to convince the EES panel that it is worth redesigning the construction compound so that we can stay and continue.
BAAG has been operating from this site for over 50 years, and under the current family ownership for 35 years. We are proud to be an integral part of the local community, and our approach is driven by a continued commitment to nurturing creativity and sustainability. We strive to inspire, enable and educate our community to live in a more environmentally sustainable way.
Why BAAG matters!
BAAG and our role in the Arts
BAAG is well known as a hub for local artists and art lovers to connect. We have over 25 permanent art installations on site, many of which would would be either lost or damaged if we were forced to move. 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.
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. 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.
We are a much needed venue for local artists to exhibit their art and for the community to view art. The opportunities provided by BAAG for local people to sell and exhibit their work have initiated and supported many art careers. The BAAG site is a continually evolving series of artworks celebrating the work of local artists. They include the facade, which is a collaboration of 8 local artists that stretches over 100 metres.
The New Bolin Bolin Gallery at BAAG, which opened in 2015, provides an exhibition quality contemporary art space suitable for solo and group exhibitions. This follows on from 20 years of exhibition experience with the old iteration of the Bolin Bolin Gallery. Our new Sculpture Garden encourages the community to bring some creativity into their gardens
Since we started running Art Workshops in 2000, we have enabled well over 2,000 people from throughout Melbourne and beyond to discover their own creative potential.
BAAG in our local community
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 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 around 50 staff, many of who live locally.
BAAG has been a passionate supporter of Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA) since it was established in 2003. BAAG helped to establish SGA, and we provide ongoing funding and rent free premises to ensure SGA remains viable. Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA) is a not-for-profit social organisation dedicated to achieving a healthy biodiverse planet and vibrant, sustainable communities. Their principal purposes are to encourage, educate and enable home and professional gardeners to adopt sustainable gardening practices, to protect or enhance the natural environment and to provide information, education and research about the natural environment.
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.
We deal with nearly 800 suppliers, many of which are local artists and micro businesses who rely on BAAG for income.
BAAG is a community asset which is unique and is worth keeping. Community is very important to us, with activities regularly held on and off site. We support countless schools and community groups and provide our community with education and resources to raise awareness of more sustainable living and gardening options.
We serve our local community with colour and a smile, there is no-one else quite like BAAG.
Sustainable Gardening and Living
BAAG is recognised throughout Melbourne for providing support and encouragement to people who produce and share food. We stock the largest, most diverse range of food-producing plants in Melbourne, having spent years building the infrastructure, information, processes and systems. We are committed to educating and assisting our customers with regard to food security, neighbourhood food production and healthy lifestyles. Our sustainable gardening classes, our website and monthly newsletters (which go to over 13,000 subscribers) all place a heavy emphasis on edible and sustainable gardening.
BAAG is trusted by mainstream gardeners in local communities. Its education programs and committed and knowledgeable staff present environmental options and a powerful message in a non-judgemental 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. We have run a free monthly community food swap at BAAG since 2009.
BAAG has been nationally recognised regularly via the garden industry peak body’s environmental awards as a trailblazer in the garden industry in environment and sustainable lifestyles.
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.
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. We also actively work on the re-vegetation of the Little Bolin billabong, White Flats and 10 acres of Parks Victoria parkland adjoining BAAG. The long term revegetation process has helped build our expertise in habitat gardening and the use of indigenous plants.
BAAG contributes directly, and through collaboration with the City of Manningham, Heide and Parks Victoria, to the development of identity of the entire Bolin Bolin precinct.
BAAG is an entertaining and continually evolving community destination. Many people travel considerable distances to see and experience BAAG because of our arts identity, home food production reputation or garden and art classes. Attractions such as the many permanent artworks, 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. Passionate gardeners also travel to BAAG from all over the state given our reputation for having one of the best ranges of plants in the state.
In addition to making a submission about the EES, you can also 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.