The Muddy Creek precinct at Kyeemagh has been described as a little pocket of land and water with a real village atmosphere.
"It's a verdant site for shellfish and fishing, and bush foods like Warrigal greens, the very first native greens eaten by Captain Cook and his men when they discovered Botany Bay," Bay Community Garden secretary Heidi Lee Douglas said.
Recently, the community garden members were concerned to find that Bayside Council's draft Muddy Creek Masterplan proposes a road that goes straight through the garden that they have worked for years to build.
"We are being forced into a shady corner, which is not good for growing, and is badly infested with mosquitoes and basically unusable for this reason," Heidi said.
Three community groups base their activities at the Muddy Creek precinct: the Bay Community Garden, Bayside Men's Shed and the Muddy Creek Boating and Amateur Fisherman's Association, which more recently become the Bayside Community Recreation Club.
"We help each other, with the Men's Shed and the Muddy Creek Fisherman's Association always warmly opening their skills or their space to us gardeners for use," Heidi said.
"There is an easy mix of ages, genders, abilities, cultures that meet and amicably work together for non-commercial interests."
The three community groups also combined their efforts during the recent public consultation on the draft masterplan to outline their future hopes for the Muddy Creek precinct.
Last week, Bayside Council listened to their concerns and decided to go back to the community groups to refine details of the draft masterplan following their overwhelming feedback.
The council wants to upgrade the Muddy Creek precinct, also known as Studdert Reserve, to provide improved walking and cycling, a playground, access to the foreshore, viewing platforms, a cafe and community space, parking and lighting for the Kyeemagh boat ramp.
More than 1,500 people viewed the online information on the draft masterplan and 338 completed the online survey.
Ten submissions were received including from Bay Community Garden, Bayside Men's Shed, the Bayside Community Recreation Club, and Sydney Airport.
Of 338 survey responses, 70 were from the Bayside Community Recreation Club who said they required more space for water-based and community activities.
Sydney Airport raised concerns that changes to the environment would attract wildlife, particularly birds, that could pose aviation hazards.
The airport was opposed to any activity or facility in this location such as fish cleaning facilities that attract large birds such as pelicans.
The Bayside Men's Shed chairman, Fred Poole was concerned that the draft Masterplan lists the demolition of the building they have occupied for several years.
He asked that the masterplan support the continued presence of the Men's Shed at Muddy Creek in either the current premises or in a new building in the precinct.
Heidi Lee Douglas said the Bay Community Garden members' main concern with the current plan was that they would lose one-third of their garden.
"The intrusion on the garden of a new road along the new garden boundary will also add to contamination with dust and emissions," she said.
"The garden is already subject to continual theft of plants, as repeatedly reported to the St George Police, who did a security assessment and advised a fence be constructed around the garden and more signage. A fence will be even more necessary after this development for road safety."
Ms Taylor Vandijk, also a community garden member, said more community consultation was needed on the masterplan.
"The area that has been allocated to the garden in the Muddy Creek Masterplan is in the shade for most of the day," she said.
"The area is not adequate for growing plants and produce without full sun.
"During these hard times the garden has been a lifeline to many in the community who are doing it tough. Without access to full sun this won't continue to happen.
"The road that is proposed goes straight through the garden that community garden members have worked for years to build.
"The community garden members are caretakers for the area and need to be consulted."
Bayside Council noted the results of the community engagement of the draft Muddy Creek Masterplan and supported more consultation with user groups followed by a councillor workshop before the final version is presented to Council for endorsement.
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