Broadmeadow sprinkles fairy dust to restore local garden
Children who have a strong sense of belonging thrive in early learning because they feel safe, nurtured and valued.
One way that we help children to build their sense of belonging is through excursions away from their centre and providing opportunities for them to participate in their local community. It helps children to understand how society works and the role that they and others play.
At Goodstart Broadmeadow
such opportunities are actively sought and a favourite among the centre’s children has been visits to the Broadmeadow Fairy Garden. A recent incident of vandalism however caused major damage to the garden and made future visits unlikely.
The garden, which has been open since 1979, is voluntarily overseen by 93-year-old Merv Moyle. Following the vandalism, assistant centre director Sandy McNaughton visited Mr Moyle to see if the centre could spread some magic and help rebuild.
“This garden is one we have visited with children from our centre in the past and having met Merv on our visits and knowing his heart for the garden he created, I wanted to see if there was anything we could do to help.
“Merv didn’t want money donations, but one thing he wanted to see was artificial turfing throughout the garden, but said he was too old to do it.”
Sandy contacted Bunnings and sent photos of the fairy garden to see if a community grant was available to help with the turf, given it was such a valued community resource.
“The Northern NSW activities manager Walllace Dobson contacted me within 48 hours and said the grant was approved and Bunnings would complete the turfing at the fairy garden. They also offered a monthly visit to help with weeding and maintenance,” Sandy said.
“We were so excited. The children and I created a big thank you card and Goodstart certificate of appreciation for Bunnings and also one for Merv and his family.
The fairy garden also has a mail box where children post letters to fairies. Merv and his family reply to each with a letter and some fairy dust for the recipient to sprinkle on their own garden.
Sandy told families at the centre about what had happened and started a collection of stationery, stamps and glitter to donate to Merv which would help with replying to all the letters.
Bunnings completed the turfing at the end of August and Sandy and centre director Melissa Thomas took a group of children to visit the garden and presented Merv with the cards and certificates along with the stationery donations from families which included almost $100 in postage stamps.
“We are currently completing planning for each of our rooms to go on a walking excursion to visit the garden and we are continuing our donation basket to collect postage stamps and stationery for Merv,” Sandy said.