I can relate to Dan. Like most of the inner-city dwelling 20-somethings, I had no idea what a berm was. That was until I found out that Auckland Transport was taking away the rights of ratepayers to cultivate roadside gardens. To me that makes absolutely no sense, and it seems a few people agree with me - in a few days, a petition to allow fruit and vegetable gardens on Auckland’s berms gained over 3000 signatures and is continuing to grow (no pun intended).

In 2014, Auckland Transport took away berm mowing services and are now proposing a $150 fee for the right to garden on berms, with regulations that effectively prohibit the growing of fruit and vegetables. On the Auckland Transport website, under their section on footpaths and berm maintenance it states that, “People are asked to please take pride in their streets, be good community citizens and ensure the berms in front or to the side of their properties are mowed regularly”.

Is having a beautiful garden lush with vegetation and flowers not taking pride in your streets and not being a good community citizen?

Here are 5 reasons why berm gardening is a great idea:

1.An improvement on the urban landscape
Berm gardens create a beautiful and diverse urban landscape that supports a rich mix of flora and fauna; where nature is visible and celebrated.


2.It is a food habitat
Not just for birds, invertebrates and insects. How lovely would it be if you could just pick some herbs or vegetables on your evening walk?


3.It brings the community closer together
Local groups dedicated to shared gardens have popped up around town. What better way to get to know your neighbours than to work together on a roadside garden?


 4.Berms support local bee populations
Without insect pollination, about ⅓ of all our food would have to be pollinated by other means.


5. Climate change!
Mowing your lawn isn’t just a pain in the bum - but it (generally) also requires the use of fossil fuels, planting a berm garden would reduce your carbon footprint.

Act now and sign the petition to urge Auckland Transport to allow fruit and vege gardens on Auckland’s berms!