WARRAGUL // THE EASTERN Park Community Garden has celebrated its first birthday with a festival.
Above: Girl Guides Jasmine Elliott and Zara McNair offer lemonade to community garden visitors. WBBC's verdict: 10/10. Photos: William PJ Kulich. PRN:01058
The Spring Festival featured live music, stalls, free food and gardening workshops at the garden in celebration of its successful first year.
“If you had said to me this time last year when we were giving our official opening that it would be so successful I probably would’ve smiled and nodded but deep down would’ve thought no, we would need five years to get to this point,” coordinator Donna Hallam said at the event.
“We have the garden open three days a week now, one whole day on a Tuesday, which is so busy with everyone from playgroups to retirement village, support services and people who come just to meet their neighbours, have a cup of tea and talk with others.
“This garden is never locked and we never have any problems with vandalism or any behaviour people might consider antisocial. I think it is because everyone here is so welcoming and so friendly and we want to maintain this as a part of our charter here in this garden, that people will come and always be welcome no matter their background.
Above: cutting the cake.
“Do come, help yourself to produce, sometimes we actually find it hard to give it away, who would’ve thought that would happen; we have too much produce sometimes! So do come in, it is free for everybody, everybody can pick, nobody needs to have done the hard work. We have enough hands here to do the work. We are always looking for more, mind you, particularly if you want to help organise events. You’re most welcome.”
Ms Hallam thanked volunteers for their efforts over the past year.
“Without the core group of at least 10 people who come every week and also all the community groups and community members who pop in and out over the week, this garden would’ve been too hard to maintain and wouldn’t look as lush and fantastic as it does now,” she said.
“We have a big vision. We would love to see a community orchard out there [elsewhere in Eastern Park] and community gardens pop up all over the shire. There are already community gardens in Trafalgar, Jindivick and there is one being built right now in Longwarry, so go and visit them because they look amazing as well.
“I hope that this becomes an annual spring festival to celebrate the garden and its achievements, and it would be great to have something local in Warragul that celebrates the passing of the seasons.”
Above: musical duo Brother and Son.
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