By Molly Turner*
WITH spring now in full bloom, the Heemskirk Community Garden is the perfect place to spend some time.
This community garden, owned by the Warrane Mornington Neighbourhood Centre, has benefited from the Sponsor a Tree program to purchase fruit trees for its new orchid, which now features apples, pears, plums, apricots, nectarine, peaches and cherries.
Leah Brightman, the Warrane Mornington Neighbourhood Centre project officer, said a variety of people “sponsored” trees for a variety of reasons.
“Some were sponsored for the birth of a baby, the loss of a baby, and one for a young man who committed suicide,” she said.
“With the help of the community, we now have 37 sponsored trees.”
Ms Brightman said the community garden members and volunteers felt humbled by the response from the community.
“It was a fantastic response,” she said.
“It raised awareness about the garden, which is good because we are always looking to generate a common understanding about what the garden is about – we try and say it in as many different ways as possible.
“If you have an idea, have a donation to make or want to be a part of it, come along because it won’t just be about gardening – it’s about creating a community space.”
Federal Member for Franklin Julie Collins and colleague Senator Catryna Bilyk were among those to sponsor a tree.
Ms Collins also assisted in securing federal funding for the community garden, allowing for the installation of a new accessible toilet.
“I have a proud record of delivering funding for upgrades for the local community and I know the Heemskirk Community Garden will be popular,” Ms Collins said.
“I congratulate the Warrane Mornington Neighbourhood Centre, Clarence City Council and members of the local community on the work they have done to attract funding for this fantastic project.”
Ms Brightman believes community gardens are vital for a neighbourhood.
“It gives people a spot to go if they are excluded from the cafes because of the cost and it means that those people can still catch up with friends,” she said.
Ms Brightman said future plans for the garden included a calendar of community events, workshops and training.
“We are also hoping to host National Simultaneous Storytime at our ‘fairy circle’, located in the garden, next year,” she said.
The Heemskirk Community Garden is now seeking funding for additional garden beds and seats.
For more information or to get involved in the Heemskirk Community Garden, contact the Warrane Mornington Neighbourhood Centre on 6244 6346 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Molly Turner is a year 10 student completing her work experience at the Eastern Shore Sun.
Caption: From left, Heemskirk Community Garden supporters Avari Wilson, Angela Wilson and John Rigby.