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  • Solar Car Unlimited: Documentary Screening

    Penrith Council is hosting a free screening of the documentary ‘Solar Car Unlimited’ at Penrith City Library on Thursday 23 March. The documentary follows the story of the Western Sydney University Solar Car team. The team, made up of students from the University, built a solar-powered car and competed in the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – a 3,000km race from Darwin to Adelaide, using only the power of the sun. The documentary will commence at 6.30pm, and will be followed by a Q&A with some of the Western Sydney University Solar Car Team members. Bookings are essential as places are limited. Please email sustainability@penrith.city or call 4732 7983 to book your seat.

    Solar powered car in the desert

  • Earth Hour

    At 8.30pm on Saturday 25 March, Penrith City Council will be switching off to join the future.

    Earth Hour is celebrating 10 years since it was started right here in Sydney, and we’re proud to be celebrating our 10th anniversary of supporting this worthy event.

    What started off as a local initiative has become a global phenomenon with 50-100 million people across 35 different countries now taking part and supporting progress for future generations.

    We will take part again this year, switching off all non-essential lighting at Council facilities. We encourage everyone in the community to get involved as well – switch off the lights at home or work and join the future.

    Sustainability and protecting and preserving our environment is a high priority for Council, and we know the community feels the same way, and so we thought there was no better time to share some of the great achievements we have made over the last 10 years.

    Council has:

    • planted more than 48,600 plants
    • installed 221kW of solar panels on Council facilities
    • collected and recycled 624 tonnes of electronic waste
    • safely disposed of 308 tonnes of chemicals
    • recycled 167,974 tonnes of plastic, cardboard, paper and cans
    • recycled 233,888 tonnes of kitchen and garden waste
    • sponsored the successful Western Sydney University Solar Car team
    • welcomed over 1300 people to our sustainable living workshops.

    To keep up to date with local sustainability news, events and workshops, subscribe to our Sustainability eNews by emailing andrew.hewson@penrith.city.

    Earth Hour

  • Community gardens

    Community gardens are becoming more popular across Australia. They strengthen communities, connect people and promote sustainability. They take many different shapes and forms, but the heart of the concept is working together to grow fresh, healthy fruit and vegetables.

    Download the Community Gardens Guidelines (1.38MB accessible pdf) or Council's Community Gardens Policy (accessible pdf 424KB).

    Where are local community gardens?

    There is an existing local community garden, which allows residents to get involved at Mamre House, Orchard Hills – Mamre has community garden space for people to volunteer or have their own plot, as well as a farm space for refugees.

    Or check out community gardens adjoining Penrith:

    The Secret Garden and Nursery, Richmond – The garden offers programs for people with disabilities and mental health issues. The general community can volunteer or have their own garden patch.

    Hawkesbury Earthcare Centre, Richmond – The Centre focuses on broad sustainability and permaculture principles. They have a demonstration building and garden, as well as offer a range of activities and workshops.

    Blacktown has several community gardens where fresh organic food is grown.

    A local gardening organisation may also be of interest to you:

    Permaculture Sydney West Inc. – PSW provide support in applying the principles of permaculture to urban homes, schools and community gardens. The Group offers information evenings, garden blitzes, seed saving, workshops and community garden support.

    Penrith City Garden Club – The Club provides a range of activities, catering for members’ interests, in all aspects of gardening. Activities include engaging speakers on a variety of topics on their club nights, visiting other gardens of interest and social activities.

    You could also get involved in your local Bushcare group to meet more people in your neighbourhood and help protect our local environment.

    Can I start a community garden on Council land?

    If you are a hard-working and committed gardening group, you may decide to start up your own project on Council owned or managed land.

    Penrith Council has developed a Community Gardens Policy and Guidelines to assist community groups plan, design and establish community gardens.

    Contact the Sustainability Team at Council to discuss your ideas. To be successful, community gardens require substantial community involvement in planning, decision-making, garden management, day-to-day activities and maintenance.

    What about a community garden on land not owned by Council?

    Gardening groups that would like to start up a community garden on non-Council owned or managed land are encouraged to contact Council.

    Proposals need to be discussed during planning, as requirements can vary significantly depending on the location and zoning of the subject land. We will help you through the process, so you can understand requirements early.

    Where can I get funding for my community garden?

    Starting a community garden requires funding in order to pay for physical items such as garden tools and plants, as well as public liability insurance and incorporation. Information on how to obtain funding for your community garden group can be found on Council’s Grants page.

    Do you have any other information to help me?

    There is a wealth of information available on community gardens. Some great sites for helpful information can be found at:

    The Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network which is an informal, community-based organisation linking people interested in community gardening around Australia.

    The South Australian Community Garden Resource Kit which contains great information on starting up a community garden with advice from experienced community gardeners as well as research in community development, project management and sustainable gardening.

    Or check out what other countries are doing such as:

    The American Community Gardening Association whose mission is to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada.

    The Canadian City Farmer whose website is a collection of stories about their work at City Farmer in Vancouver, Canada and about urban farmers from around the world. They teach people how to grow food in the city, compost their waste and take care of their home landscape in an environmentally responsible way.

    Or the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens in the United Kingdom supports, represents and promotes community-managed farms and gardens across the UK.

    Penrith Council has developed a Community Gardens Policy and Guidelines to assist community groups plan, design and establish community gardens.

    Find out more by downloading our Community Gardens Fact Sheet or contact Council’s Sustainability Team on 4732 7983 or email Andrew Hewson.

  • Sustainable businesses

    Council has developed a program called Business Connections, to assist local small to medium businesses identify opportunities to become more sustainable.

    There are a number of programs and resources available to help small to medium businesses. These are designed to reduce operating costs, improve profitability, and become more sustainable. We want to help make it easier for local small and medium businesses to make the most of these opportunities. We've pulled together details of different assistance programs and put them in a single easy to use guide. It includes grants and rebates, training courses, technical guides, assistance programs, case studies, awards and recognition programs. For each type of assistance we've identified who is offering it, who is eligible to participate, and broadly what areas it covers. 

    Penrith Business Connections Resource (pdf)

Penrith City Council (02) 4732 7777 (02) 4732 7958 council@penrithcity.nsw.gov.au 601 High St Penrith NSW 2750 Australia